Hawks center Jason Collins had an MRI on his sprained left elbow Friday. While the team waits for the results, coach Larry Drew ruled Collins out for Saturday’s home game against the 76ers.
It also appears that one possibility for big man help – free agent Kenyon Martin – won’t be joining the Hawks.
“He won’t be ready tomorrow, that’s for sure,” Drew said of Collins. “Hopefully he won’t be out too long because right now we are looking at Zaza [Pachulia] as our 5 and Ivan Johnson as our backup 5. We are a little depleted in the big man area. Hopefully he won’t be gone too long.”
Collins did not practice Friday. However, it did arrive at the arena as practice was ending. He said he felt “better.”
Collins was injured in the first quarter of Thursday’s blowout loss to the Grizzlies. His left arm was pinned under the Grizzlies’ Dante Cunningham while on the floor after a loose ball.
The injury leaves the Hawks with only one center in Pachulia. Johnson was forced to backup at the position Thursday, especially after Pachulia picked up his second foul in the first quarter. Johnson had difficulty guarding the Grizzlies’ 7-foot-1 Marc Gasol. Memphis ended up with 58 points in the paint.
“I’ve got to be smarter and do a better job of not picking up cheap fouls,” Pachulia said. “The second foul I could have easily used my body to challenge [Rudy] Gay’s shot. I’m going to try to be more careful next game. I’m not going to try to save the fouls. When I need to take a foul, of course I’m a big man I will, especially with Jason down. Now, I’ve got to be more careful and take the foul only when I need to.”
The Hawks will have to step up their on-going search for a center which began when they lost starter Al Horford to a torn pectoral muscle.
The Hawks met with a representative for Martin on Thursday. However according to a Los Angeles Times report, Martin has agreed to a deal with the Clippers. He is currently playing in China.
“It hasn’t been a secret we’ve been looking at some guys,” Drew said. “When Al went down we began our search. We had a list of names we were looking at. The search is going to have to continue now [with the loss of Collins].”