Young To Miss Clippers Game With Thigh Injury
The Hawks will be shorthanded again on Wednesday night against the Clippers as Trae Young misses his fifth game of the season -- this time with a right thigh contusion he suffered on Monday against Toronto. Young collided with the Raptors' Marc Gasol on a screen during Monday's game an played through the bruise for the remainder of the game, but the injury will keep him out against L.A.
"It was worse today even than it was yesterday," Lloyd Pierce said. "He came in and got it checked out and did a couple tests, and just not good for tonight."
Young is averaging 29.2 points and 8.6 assists this season while serving as the sole driver of Atlanta's offense. The Hawks will be hard pressed to create efficient looks without him, and much of the responsibility to create will fall to Kevin Huerter, Jeff Teague, and John Collins. Brandon Goodwin will see more minutes as the primary backup point guard. DeAndre' Bembry is out of tonight's game for personal reasons, leaving Atlanta without another secondary creator.
Teague will start in Young's place -- the veteran's first start since December 18, when he was in Minnesota -- along with Kevin Huerter, De'Andre Hunter, John Collins, and Bruno Fernando. Cam Reddish will come off the bench, presumably so the Hawks can match the Clippers' size.
Alex Len, who has been out since January 12 with a lower back injury, is active and will be on a 20-minute limit tonight. While the Hawks haven't practiced in a while, Len gradually ramped up his activity level from light jogging to a full workout over the last few days and was finally cleared to play. "It’s just something that will flare up from time to time," Pierce said. "And so just a slow process back."
The Clippers are just as -- if not more -- banged up than the Hawks. Patrick Beverley will miss Wednesday's game with a groin injury he suffered Tuesday night in Dallas, and Kawhi Leonard is sitting out the second night of the back-to-back for precautionary reasons.
Paul George, who has missed the last six games with a strained left hamstring, went through a light on-court workout before the game but will not play against the Hawks.
Absent its two main engines, the Clippers will start Lou Williams, Landry Shamet, Terrence Mann, Moe Harkless, and Ivica Zubać. They'll lean heavily on Williams and Montrezl Harrell in the pick-and-roll when the two share the floor, and Shamet's outside shooting will become all the more important as L.A. searches for ancillary scoring.
This will be an interesting one.