The Atlanta Hawks are entering the preseason with an almost fully-healthy roster for the first time in a couple of seasons. While this is going to have a huge impact on how the Hawks are able to attack the preseason and then the regular season.
However, this is not the case for a lot of teams in the Eastern Conference at the moment. The Boston Celtics are going to be without ex-hawks big man Danilo Gallinari who injured his knee playing for Italy. On top of that, they are going to be without their pivot Robert Williams for the first part of the season.
Likewise, the Chicago Bulls are going to be without their starting point guard, Lonzo Ball, for a minimum of four weeks and potentially the whole season. This means that two of the teams who were above the Hawks last season and their issues should make qualifying directly for the playoffs easier for the Hawks if they can stay healthy themselves.
So, how does the Markelle Fultz injury impact the Atlanta Hawks?
The Orlando Magic is a team that is going to be on the rise over the next few seasons. They have a huge core of young talent and need to develop an identity in order to have that core develop into a solid team.
Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely due to fracturing his toe. This is another injury in a long line of maladies that have kept him from reaching his potential in the league. In fact, Fultz has only played 131 games in five years in the league. Still, what he brings to the floor is experience and this is what the Magic needs most.
Without Fultz, the young guards are going to be trying to hone their skills while also trying to establish their identity. This is not easy for a young team to do without some quality veterans to help them. The Hawks saw this at the start of the rebuild when they had Trae Young and John Collins but no real identity.
The Hawks take on the Magic four times before Christmas which is a good thing. Without the veteran presence of Fultz, it is highly likely that the Hawks will be able to easily take these four games and this will help them in their quest for a high playoff seed.