In the weak and floundering Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks pretty clearly established themselves as the third best team in the East. However, the 2013-14 NBA season since that point has been incredibly unkind to the Hawks.
It all started with star big man Al Horford tearing his pectoral muscle, effectively ending his season. The Hawks tried to remain afloat, but recent injuries to DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic have made that more difficult. On Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs, things got even more difficult going forward for the injury-plagued Hawks.
After playing just 14 minutes against San Antonio, point guard Jeff Teague went down with a sprained ankle, an injury from which he wouldn’t return. Now reports are saying that Teague will not travel with the team on their upcoming two-game road trip. However, as ankle sprains are notorious for, this injury could be something that lingers beyond that timeframe.
Teague hasn’t had the success that many people imagined for him this season, largely caused by the Horford injury. In 41 games this season, Teague has averaged a solid 16.4 points, 7.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, but his efficiency has been troublesome with him shooting just 41.3 percent from the floor and only 26.1 percent from three.
Even with Teague’s struggles, though, this Hawks team is up against it right now. With three players from their opening night starting lineup now out of commission, they are going to have to get creative to hold on to any kind of success. Paul Millsap is going to have to step up, as are scoring guards like Lou Williams and Shelvin Mack. Either way, though, Teague’s injury definitely makes the road more bumpy for Atlanta.