Coming into Friday night's game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the only known injury concern for the Atlanta Hawks was that of Dennis Schröder's ankle. However, the home team has been hit with an additional injury problem just before tip-off, as sharpshooting swingman Kyle Korver was unable to suit up for the game. Korver was unable to complete his normally lengthy pregame shooting routine, and it appears as if that carried over to tip-off as he was ruled out with back spasms.
This is certainly a significant loss for the Hawks on a variety of levels, beginning with the fact that Korver is the single best shooter on the roster, which should negatively affect Atlanta in attempting to spread the floor offensively. Korver has been utterly lights-out this season from 3-point distance, shooting 48.6% from beyond the arc (to lead the NBA), but more than that, the threat of his existence gives the opposition nightmares on a consistent basis, and his overall game has been very solid for the Hawks.
In his absence, Mike Budenholzer has elected to start guard Shelvin Mack alongside Jeff Teague in the backcourt, and it will be interesting to see how the team adjusts to this smaller lineup. Stay tuned for all the latest as more detail becomes available.