Trae Young’s injury slowed Hawks’ roll in Game 3; will it halt their run to Finals?
The contact was incidental, but the impact was tremendous.
Trae Young stepped on the foot of referee Sean Wright late in the third quarter of Sunday’s Eastern Conference finals Game 3. He suffered a right ankle sprain as a result.
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“I came down on that dude’s ankle,” Young said postgame.
He missed almost four minutes of game action as he received treatment in the locker room. When he returned, he wasn’t the same player and Atlanta, of course, wasn’t the same team.
“I came back in, it was kind of sore and . . . I couldn’t really go as fast as I wanted to and then when I did, it hurt,” he told reporters.
That made Young — who was having a monster game — tentative for the seven minutes he played in the fourth quarter. He was 1 for 4 from the field (a 3-pointer) and had a turnover. He deferred to his teammates, who couldn’t pick up the slack. Atlanta shot 7 for 18 (1 for 8 from 3) and turned the ball over four times in the final 12 minutes.
“When he came back to the bench I was told that he was available,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “Once he got out there, I saw that he wasn’t moving well. When I took him out the last few seconds, he couldn’t go back. I was basically looking to rotate him offense/defense.”
The Hawks went from a three-point lead at the time of the injury to an 11-point loss, 113-102. They’re now down 2-1 in the series. And things might not get back to normal for them quickly enough.
Game 4 is set for Tuesday in Atlanta. Young will have an MRI on Monday.
“Just got to get treatment and hopefully it feels better for next game,” he said.
McMillan can slide Lou Williams to the point if Young is limited or out Tuesday. He can also hope that shooters Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter (combined 14 for 41 Sunday) all play better.
The best option, of course, is to have Young — who finished with a team-high 35 points in Game 3 — at close to full speed.
If he isn’t any better by Tuesday, then the Hawks’ run to the NBA Finals may just grind to a halt.
Article Found At – Sporting News