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Encouraging reports surface surrounding Tim Hardaway Jr.'s availability

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The Hawks could have their backup shooting guard available on Saturday evening.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Patterson has been recalled from the D-League and will be available for the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, but it looks as if the team may not necessarily need him against the Boston Celtics.

Tim Hardaway Jr. suffered an injury that was characterized as a right hamstring strain in the team's season finale against the Wizards, and there was some level of uncertainty as to whether he would be healthy enough to play in Saturday's Game 1. Then, positive chatter began to surface during Atlanta's practice on Friday afternoon.

First, Hardaway Jr. was seen shooting jumpers and engaging in some defensive activity in the aftermath of the full practice.

Then, word broke following the team's availability that Hardaway Jr. would be listed as questionable in advance of the series opener.

It must be noted that a questionable distinction is not confirmation of his availability, but it is certainly encouraging. Patterson's promotion was certainly to provide insurance for Hardaway Jr., but in a perfect world, Mike Budenholzer would have his full complement of bench options, and Patterson cannot replicate the offensive explosiveness that Hardaway is capable of bringing when things are going well.

There will certainly be some intrigue on Saturday as to whether Tim Hardaway Jr. can fully participate in the game, but hearing that he is engaging in basketball activity and seeing a questionable status are definitely positive signs. Stay tuned.