The Atlanta Hawks might have trouble finding enough healthy players to compete on Monday when they host the Boston Celtics.
The Hawks lost two more starters on Saturday and could be without leading scorer Trae Young when they return home to meet the Celtics.
Young left Saturday’s 123-100 loss in Dallas in the third quarter with a right ankle sprain. He scored just 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting and had one assist in 26 minutes.
Atlanta also lost forward Cam Reddish with a face contusion in the first quarter after he took an inadvertent elbow to the head and was placed in concussion protocol. The team already announced he will miss the game against the Celtics.
Forward De’Andre Hunter also sat out because of a left ankle sprain.
The Hawks already were without DeAndre Bembry (right hand neuritis), Bruno Fernando (left calf sprain) and Alex Len (right hip flexor strain). They also got a scare late in the fourth quarter when Vince Carter rolled his ankle, but the veteran was able to walk it off and remained in the game. Jabari Parker remains out with a right shoulder impingement, and Chandler Parsons is unavailable because of whiplash suffered during a car accident.
“You just play whoever you can,” Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce told reporters. “And you feel how the game’s going.”
The Hawks are fortunate that John Collins appears to be rounding into form. He had 26 points and 11 rebounds against the Mavericks, his 12th double-double in 24 games. Kevin Huerter came off restricted minutes on Friday and scored 20 in 40 minutes on 7-of-12 shooting, including 6 of 10 from 3-point range.
“Everybody doesn’t have a healthy team,” Huerter said. “So it’s really no excuse on our end. We’d love to have them out there, but we’ve got to (play the) next man up.”
The Celtics have had their share of injury issues, too. Kemba Walker (left knee soreness) and Enes Kanter (right hip contusion) both missed Saturday’s game against Philadelphia. The team announced Sunday that Walker will miss the game. Kanter is questionable, as is Marcus Smart, who has a right thigh contusion.
“Kemba is a short-term thing,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll have time to be the best version of ourselves if we can get everyone back and healthy.”
Boston just took Jayson Tatum off restricted minutes; a sore right groin caused him to miss three games. Tatum returned on Thursday and played 24 minutes in a 119-104 defeat of Golden State. He played 29 minutes on Saturday and scored 25 points in Boston’s 116-95 win over Philadelphia.
Jaylen Brown played an inspired game against the Sixers after he was left off the NBA All-Star roster. Brown produced 32 points — two shy of his season’s best — and nine rebounds against the Sixers. He had totaled only 22 points against Philly in the previous three meetings.
“I haven’t played as well against Philly as I would have liked the first three times,” Brown said. “So I wanted to make sure I left my imprint on the game.”
Boston has won the past five meetings against Atlanta. The Celtics prevailed 109-106 in Boston on Jan. 3, with Brown contributing 24 points and 10 rebounds. Walker also missed that game with an illness.
–Field Level Media