Photo by Alexander Jonesi of Wikimedia Commons
Trae Young appears to be fine after appearing to suffer a scary ankle injury during the third quarter of the Atlanta Hawks' Wednesday night loss to the New York Knicks.
According to CBS Sports writer Sam Quinn, the Atlanta Hawks star point guard 'feels a lot better' after spraining his ankle Wednesday night.
Young was helped off the court and the initial thought process was one of filled with negativity. Young was grasping at his ankle and the injury, whatever it may be, appeared to be serious. The Hawks, like many other NBA teams this season, have dealt with an alarming amount of injuries. Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter have only played in 26 games and 20 games respectively. Young has missed a few games due to calf problems, John Collins has missed time recently due to an ankle injury, and Danilo Gallinari is still out with a foot injury.
This is a team that has achieved a lot already despite injuries, and with Young's ankle sprain, this becomes yet another obstacle as the regular season draws to a close and the playoff push begins.
Thankfull for the Hawks, Young said his ankle already feels much better.
While this injury comes at a very important part of the season for the Hawks, the fact that it isn't a serious one should help bring some relief to the team and its fans.
In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, host of the NBA show "The Jump," Young gave an update, saying that his ankle felt a lot better, and that the ankle brace he was wearing helped to alleviate the injury.
Again, this is great news for Young and the Hawks who are entering the most important part of the season now as they make a push for a playoff spot.
The Atlanta Hawks currently sit at the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and are only one game ahead of the Miami Heat in the southeast division race. With only 13 games left in the regular season, the Hawks are in the midst of clinching its first playoff appearance since 2017, and are in great shape to do so still. However, its star point guard suffering an ankle sprain could hurt the teams' chances of skipping the play in tournament, which consists of the seven through 10 seeds in each conference.
This tournament was implemented last season due to COVID-19 and will be a part of post-season play again this year. This year, the seventh team will play the eighth team, and the ninth team will play the 10th team. The winner of the seventh vs. eighth game will earn the seventh seed. The loser of the seventh vs. the eighth team will go on to play the winner of the ninth vs. the 10th team. The winner of that game will be the eights seed.
The Hawks will want no part in this, and with Young's injury, the team will have to rally to avoid falling below the sixth seed.
Young's ankle sprain comes at a bad time for the Hawks, but the talent on the roster can keep the team afloat.
According to CBS Sports, Young will miss Friday's matchup with the Heat due to the ankle sprain. This is the type of game that the Hawks need to win, and not having Young on the court will hurt the teams' chances of pulling out the victory against a really good Heat team. With that being said though, the Hawks do have Lou Williams and Brandon Goodwin, two guys who have proven to be viable options at the guard positions.
Williams has proven that he can still put up great numbers and has helped the Hawks make that next step into becoming a playoff contender over the last two months. Goodwin has also proven his worth when Young has missed games this season. In Goodwin's last two starts when Young missed time due to a left calf issue, He averaged 17.5 points. These are great numbers for a guy who hasn't seen much playing time so far in his short career and the Hawks will need this type of perfomance from Goodwin if they want to stay afloat while Young's ankle sprain heals.
The off-season signings of Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic proved to be very beneficial to the team and both players have helped to take this team to the next step this season. As long as these two are in the game, the abscense of Young will hurt less.
Overall, the ankle sprain came at a very bad time for the Hawks, but Young is lucky that the injury isn't any worse. This is a talented roster with great players at every position that makes losing Young for the time being hurt less. Best case scenario, Young rests his ankle and is back at 100 percent for the playoffs. Worst case scenario, the Hawks fall past the sixth seed and have to play the play in tournament. Either way, Young should be back with the team by the end of the regular season and he will play a pivotal role in how far this team goes.