The Atlanta Hawks will try to snap a nine-game losing streak when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night to begin a three-game road trip.
The Hawks will have to do so without their top player, Trae Young, who told reporters Friday night that he would not make the trip to Chicago. Young needed to be helped to the locker room earlier in the evening after appearing to twist his right ankle on a drive to the paint.
Atlanta eventually fell 112-86 to the Milwaukee Bucks and now must head to Chicago on short rest.
“I rolled it pretty bad,” Young said to reporters after the game. “It hurts pretty bad right now, but that’s to be expected. I’m getting treatment on it and iced it already.”
The 21-year-old Young had 12 points in 15 minutes before he was injured. His absence could lead to additional playing time for guards such as Kevin Huerter, Allen Crabbe and Brandon Goodwin.
Crabbe fared the best of the group with 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting against the Bucks. Goodwin appeared in only his third game of the season and missed all six of his shot attempts from the field.
The Bulls also have had their share of struggles this season, but they have played better as of late with two victories in their last three games. They are coming off a 103-95 loss against the Orlando Magic but have had a four-day break between games to rest up.
Despite the time off, Chicago remains short-handed, missing perimeter players Otto Porter Jr. (foot) and Chandler Hutchison (shoulder). The Bulls have dealt with illnesses in addition to injuries, most recently to forward Lauri Markkanen, who did not practice Friday because he was sick.
Top scorer Zach LaVine could look to fill the void for Chicago. He is averaging 23.6 points this season to go along with 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists, and he has topped 30 points in three of his last five games.
Bulls coach Jim Boylen likes what he has seen in recent games from his young roster.
“You don’t start with 10 things you are going to do,” Boylen told reporters. “You start with one or two. (First, we’re) going to be a good defensive team. Then I want to run, so our defense is set up where we can knock a couple of balls loose and maybe get out and run. Then we go to the scoring part of it. There’s a pattern with a 23-year-old team I wanted to have.”
Meanwhile, Young plans to keep resting and getting treatment for his injury. He also had to miss a game Oct. 31 against the Miami Heat because of an ankle sprain.
“It hurt bad the first time, but the pain was bad this time, as well,” Young told reporters. “It hurt really bad, especially when it happened, but I don’t really know a comparison.”
Chicago is 6-10 at home this season. Atlanta is 3-14 on the road.
–Field Level Media