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Hawks set to “change course” with Thabo Sefolosha’s injury recovery

The Hawks will be taking a different approach as they await the return of Thabo Sefolosha.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks will be without Thabo Sefolosha against the Utah Jazz on Monday evening, marking the fifth consecutive absence for the team’s best defensive wing. Prior to tip-off, Mike Budenholzer shed a bit of light on Sefolosha’s absence, indicating that the Hawks would be taking a different approach in the coming days.

“I think we’re probably just going to give him a few days. Maybe change course a little bit as far as how much he does during the day. Trying to ramp him up and get him ready. Maybe just back off and see if complete change and see if that can get him healthy and ready sooner.”

Sefolosha has been listed as questionable prior to the past handful of games for Atlanta, with the Hawks taking his status close to game-time before declaring him as “out”. With that in mind, this is a full-blown change to the way the team is handling Sefolosha and, when prompted about his availability being in doubt for Wednesday, Budenholzer indicated the following:

“I wouldn’t say that. We’ll see how today goes. We’ll see how tomorrow goes and just see how we feel about kind of a different approach.”

Without Sefolosha in the lineup, the Hawks are forced to play a (much) more offensive-minded approach, utilizing Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kent Bazemore as starting wings. His absence can be felt extensively against prime wing options (including Utah’s Gordon Hayward on Monday) and his swift return would be important for Atlanta.

During the same availability, Budenholzer also provided an update on the injured Tiago Splitter.

“He’s doing more in the shootarounds and more in practices. I don’t know that I’d necessarily take it and say that he’s getting closer, though, but he’s doing more.”

While this is a non-answer for the most part, it is at least mildly encouraging that Splitter is being more active in progressing toward game shape. The veteran center has not played this season.

Stay tuned.