The Atlanta Hawks are having a solid start to the season. They are winning almost every game that they should win and are flying high in the Eastern Conference. Part of the reason for this is they have been almost fully healthy for the first portion of the season.
The same thing cannot be said for some of the key bench players for last season. While the Hawks are without Bogdan Bogdanovic thanks to the offseason surgery which saw him miss EuroBasket for Serbia, it would have been so much worse had the Hawks not traded for Dejounte Murray.
The only player that the Hawks had to give up in the trade to get Murray was Danilo Gallinari. While he was the most crucial bench player for the Hawks last season, the sacrifice has certainly been worth it considering how well the Hawks have played with Murray. The other part of that equation is that Gallinari is likely to miss this season with a knee injury sustained in Europe.
Ex-Atlanta Hawks wing Delon Wright is now also out indefinitely.
Another key defender and bench player for the Hawks from last season was Delon Wright. He was a key reason that the Washington Wizards had a tremendous start to this season. They then lost to the Indiana Pacers, giving up a season-worst 127 points in their first game without Wright.
Yahoo Sports said that Wright is out with a hamstring but it is possibly an oblique injury as reported on the NBA coverage of the OKC Thunder vs the LA Clippers. The best estimate for his return is six weeks and as the Hawks have seen, this can be enough to ruin a season.
So far the Hawks have avoided the injury bug which has plagued them for the past two seasons with the exception of Bogdanovic. However, if they had focussed on retention as they did last preseason, they would be down three key bench players with the season less than two weeks in.
Currently, the Wizards are one of the Hawks’ closest division rivals so this injury may be beneficial for the Hawks. Still, the season is yet young, there is no telling what may happen with injuries for any team this season. Let us hope that the Hawks have a reasonably clean injury report for the majority of the season.