Just one game into the season and Atlanta’s amazingly good luck with injuries looks to be running out.
First, there were the nagging injuries to several players that contributed to a lackluster preseason (and which subsequently seemed moot after Atlanta’s season-opening W) but there were no major issues. Now Mo Evans is back in Atlanta to have his right knee drained and will miss “several days of action,” according to the team.
The knee has been troublesome for Mo since last season, when he said he played through the pain. After starting summer workouts, he said he “felt something quirky going on” with the knee but he and Hawks trainer Wally Blase decided to wait a couple weeks “to see if it heals itself.”
“In hindsight we wish we could have gotten those three or four weeks back because moving into training camp I would have been able to go full go,” Mo said the other day.
Evans tried to push the knee too soon during camp–he said his competitiveness made him want to get out on the court–and had to back off when it swelled up. He looked to be moving really well in the final preseason game and Monday at Memphis, when he scored seven points on 3 of 3 shooting in 15 minutes.
His absence leaves L.D. with one less option on the perimeter. Mo is an undersized small forward but one of L.D.’s other options, JC2, is even smaller. The Hawks lose experience and defensive acumen with that exchange. Jamal could play more minutes but that’s still a significant drop off in D.