Despite the Atlanta Hawks being in the middle of their own injury issues, they are in a better place than the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets, who have beaten the Hawks twice this season, sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
It is safe to say this is a surprise given that most people thought they overpaid for Gordon Hayward and did not expect them to make much noise. Hayward is back to his Utah Jazz best and he has taken the rest of the team with him.
LaMelo Ball has been a sensation. He bypassed the regular draft route by playing professionally in Australia. As a result, there were a few questions about his potential to move onto the biggest stage in the world. Well, after becoming the youngest player to record a triple-double in league history, he has been a force for the Hornets this season.
The Atlanta Hawks should benefit from LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward being out.
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Unfortunately for the Hornets, Ball suffered a fractured wrist towards the end of March which required surgery. Then, to compound matters even further, their team leader, Gordon Hayward, is out with a foot injury for the next month.
There is a good chance that this means the Hornets will start losing to teams that they would have beaten if these two players were not injured. This should result in a slide down the standing, which, if the Hawks can keep winning, will mean a home playoff seed becomes more possible.
The Hornets face seven playoff seeded teams out of 12 games in the time before Ball comes back. In the extra week that Hayward is expected to be out they face another three playoff seeded teams in four games. This part of the schedule will make or break them.
The Hawks play them once during this time and it will be a tremendous opportunity to gain some ground on them in the standings. After the losses the Hawks have suffered through their injury issues, it will be nice if they could catch a break on this one.