5 Atlanta Hawks who must step up in Trae Young's absence

With Trae Young out for roughly the next month, these five Atlanta Hawks need to step up to keep the team in playoff contention.
Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson and guard Dejounte Murray
Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson and guard Dejounte Murray / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Bogdan Bogdanovic’s has to stay hot for Hawks

Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 16.9 points and 1.3 steals per game this season are both highs for his Hawks career. His scoring output comes from volume, with Bogdanovic posting career-highs in field goal attempts and attempts from downtown.

His efficiency is down, though.

His 42.9% field goal percentage is the second-worst of his career, and his 37.3% mark from three is closer to being his third-worst mark (37.2%) than his third-best (39.2%).

However, unlike Johnson, who only started to show signs of a turnaround in the last contest, Bogdanovic has already been on an upward trend for some time. He is averaging 17.1 points and knocking down 40.4% (for the A) of his deep looks over the last 14 games.

The Hawks are 5-4 in games that Bogdanovic has started this season. 

They are 41-31 with him as a starter during his tenure in Atlanta, providing even more optimism that the Hawks can successfully navigate this stretch without Young.

There are two potential big-picture drawbacks, though. The first is Bogdanovic’s health. Following years of knee issues, the Hawks must be careful not to overtax the 31-year-old swingman.

He has been healthy this season, missing just two contests all year.

But he has dealt with knee injuries in the past and is coming off an extended run in the FIBA World Cup last summer.

It won’t be easy – Bogdanovic is one of the team’s best shooters. He is also an underrated playmaker and driver, which the Hawks lack with consistency in many other spots. Keeping him healthy enough to be on the floor is the only way any of that will matter, though.