The Atlanta Hawks suffered another painful loss on Wednesday night at the hands of the Orlando Magic, but Thursday proved to deliver potentially an even worse blow. The team announced on Thursday afternoon that starting center Clint Capela suffered a right calf strain in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss, ruling him out for one-to-two weeks.
Capela joins Dejounte Murray and John Collins in the injured department, though Collins could be nearing a return as he’s inching closer to the two-week timeline he was given for his left ankle sprain. Losing Capela is obviously massing for Atlanta, as he has arguably been the team’s best all around player to this point in this season when factoring Trae Young’s poor shooting and Dejounte Murray missing the last several games.
The injury obviously bumps Onyeka Okongwu into the starting lineup, and hurts the Hawks, who are already not a good rebounding team, on the glass. Atlanta will be undersized and understaffed particularly in the paint until Collins is able to return. The Frank Kaminsky minutes have proved to be disastrous, to the point where you wonder if the Hawks consider signing a center to a 10-day or something while Capela is on the shelf.
Atlanta is on the road vs. the Charlotte Hornets on Friday even. The Hornets have the worst record in the NBA at 7-21, but the reeling Hawks may still have their work cut out for them as yet another starter will be in street clothes. It remains to be seen exactly how close Collins is to returning, but until he does, Atlanta is extremely thin on the frontline, which will make things rather difficult all around.