UPDATE: The Hawks issued an updated injury report on Friday afternoon, with Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Damian Jones now available to play.
The Atlanta Hawks struggled to find their defensive footing on Wednesday evening, falling short against the Orlando Magic at State Farm Arena. On Friday, the Hawks will continue a stretch of four games in six nights with a face-off against old friends Kenny Atkinson, Taurean Prince and the Brooklyn Nets.
Considering the friendly venue and the reality that the Nets aren’t anything approaching a juggernaut, the match-up could be favorable for Atlanta. However, things got a bit tougher for Lloyd Pierce’s bunch when word broke that Dewayne Dedmon will miss the game — along with at least two more contests — as a result of a non-surgical procedure on his elbow.
That injury leaves Pierce with limited options at the center position and, as evidenced by the first half of the season, that could be problematic for Atlanta. Along with Dedmon’s injury absence, the Hawks are still without Clint Capela and Skal Labissiere, leaving the team with only Bruno Fernando and Damian Jones to flank John Collins in the frontcourt.
Elsewhere on the injury report, Brooklyn continues to operate without Kyrie Irving (and Kevin Durant), but the Nets are generally healthy otherwise, including the projected return of Wilson Chandler. On Atlanta’s side, Trae Young (flu-like symptoms) is listed as questionable for the second straight game, and he was absent from practice on Thursday. Kevin Huerter (left adductor pain) is probable, with Damian Jones (flu-like symptoms) listed as questionable.
Because of the injury-related uncertainty, there is no point spread available for the game as of Friday morning. Atlanta will likely enter as the underdog, even if Young plays, with the number growing larger if he doesn’t. Still, this is a game that the Hawks can win with a positive performance, and it should be an interesting contest in front of a weekend crowd in Atlanta.
Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.
Game Date/Time: Friday, Feb. 28, 7:30 pm ET
Location: State Farm Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass