After Trae Young's departure in the second quarter due to an ankle sprain, the Hawks (2-2) lost to the Heat 112-97 Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Hawks will host the Heat at 7 p.m. Thursday.
These are some takeaways from the loss:
1. In the second quarter, Young came down awkwardly on his right ankle and was helped off the court. He was diagnosed with an ankle sprain and did not return. After the game, Young had his ankle wrapped and was on crutches. It’s unclear how serious the injury is or how much playing time he will miss, however, a source confirmed to the AJC that X-rays were negative, which is a good sign (first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski). Young said postgame he was able to put weight on his ankle as he got closer to the locker room, but added “it’s definitely something that they want me to stay off it as much as possible right now, so not putting too much on it.”
2. Even though Young wasn’t scoring much before his departure at the 9:57 mark of the second quarter with the Hawks trailing 36-31 (he went 0 for 2 from the field in the first quarter but made the Hawks’ first two baskets of the second), the team felt his absence. The Hawks were also without backup point guard Evan Turner, who is out with left Achilles pain. That left guard Tyrone Wallace, who the Hawks claimed off waivers Oct. 23, as well as rookies Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter and Kevin Huerter, who’s coming off a right knee injury, to run the offense. The Hawks still had 28 assists, with Reddish posting 6 and DeAndre’ Bembry posting 5, but losing Young is a huge blow, and not having Turner makes them even more shorthanded. Coach Lloyd Pierce on the team’s ball handling: “(Young has) got 80 something games under his belt. Cam’s got four. Kevin’s coming off of injury and De’Andre (Hunter’s) got four. So we’re going to miss anybody, at this stage in our career. All those guys are reliant on each other. Trae’s an elite player and he’s our primary ball handler. Those other guys will be fine, we’ve just got to get them some games.”
3. John Collins sunk a career-high five 3-pointers and recorded his seventh career 30-point game, finishing with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. Collins, who has been a disruptive defender so far this season, registered one block, and has had at least one block through each of the Hawks’ first four games. “I thought he was great,” Pierce said. “It’s been tough trying to get him in the pick-and-rolls, and we were able to get him in pick-and-pop situations tonight. So he gets going from 3 early, and he stayed hot, I think he had three or four in the first quarter alone, but he just got a rhythm.”
4. The Hawks were able to force 28 turnovers (that’s a season-high for Miami, with 11 of those coming in the fourth quarter), generating 14 steals. But undisciplined defense defending the Heat from 3-point range hurt the Hawks as they played from behind (Miami shot 41.9 percent from 3 compared to the Hawks’ 28.2%).
5. Young being out exacerbated this, but the Hawks made 16 of 24 free throws (66.7%) while the Heat went to the line much more as the Hawks fouled 3-point shooters, making 33 of 45 free throws (73.3%).
By the numbers
49 (the amount of rebounds the Heat tallied, compared to the Hawks’ 33)
“I definitely want to see that guy back out there. He’s had a hell of a start to his year. My guy off the court in general. I just want to see him happy, healthy. You hate to see him go down like that but you’re just hoping it’s a speedy recovery and get him back on the floor when he’s ready and just go from there.” (John Collins on Trae Young)
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