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Kent Bazemore's injury could reshuffle Hawks' wing rotation

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Kent Bazemore's injury could force Mike Budenholzer to reshuffle the Hawks' wing rotation yet again.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kent Bazemore left Sunday's game with an ankle injury and did not return. His status going forward has yet to be determined and the team said that he would be reevaluated on Monday. While it is never smart to speculate on injuries like these, the Hawks could be without Bazemore at least in the short term.

If that does prove to be the case, it will be interesting to see how Mike Budenholzer elects to juggle his rotation. Thabo Sefolosha subbed in for Bazemore after the injury and played the rest of the way down the stretch. He himself, however, is still recovering from his own injury and has yet to play more than 24 minutes in any game this season. Atlanta has also played it safe with Sefolosha in back-to-back situations which the Hawks will face again starting Tuesday with a trip to Brooklyn and a Wednesday home game against Sacramento.

Justin Holiday has gotten the bulk of reserve wing minutes of late and has performed well particularly on the defensive end of the floor. Lamar Patterson was a surprise addition to the team's rotation at the start of the season but has been replaced by Holiday of late. If Bazemore is out and the Hawks remain cautious with Sefolosha, then both could be pressed into duty.

Another option Budenholzer has is Tim Hardaway Jr. who has still yet to appear in a single game this season. The coaching staff has continued to preach patience in regards to Hardaway and offered reassurance that the team has not lost confidence in him.

Budenholzer isn't afraid to deploy small lineups and the potential return of Jeff Teague from an ankle injury of his own could provide a whole set of different options.

Hopefully, the news on Bazemore turns out to be positive and he is back in the lineup this week. He has been one of the biggest surprises of the season for the team averaging 12 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. His biggest improvement has come with his shooting where he is shooting 49 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range. Even more impressive is that he has raised his game offensively while routinely being matched against the opposing team's top offensive wing option.

Replacing Bazemore won't be easy for the Hawks who value continuity, but this is the exact situation for which you try and build a deep roster.