The Atlanta Hawks aren’t in must win territory just yet, down 2-1 to the Milwaukee Bucks, but the way they lost Games 2 and 3 — one a blowout and the other seeing a 7-point fourth quarter lead evaporate into an 11-point loss — it will certainly feel crucial for them to get Game 4 at home to avoid returning to Milwaukee having to get a win.
Getting a win on Tuesday night in Atlanta is going to be very much dependent on the health of superstar guard Trae Young, who stepped on a referee’s foot late in the third quarter of Game 3, rolling his ankle and having to take a quick trip to the locker room to get it looked at and re-taped. When he returned, he did not look like the Young we saw in the first three quarters, struggling to do much off the dribble and his only contribution of the fourth was a deep three midway through the period. Otherwise, he was rendered far less impactful than normal and the Hawks offense collapsed without his creation.
On Monday, Young had an MRI and it was revealed that he had a bone bruise in his right foot, leaving him as officially questionable for Game 4. One would expect Young to do everything he can to give it a go, but how effective he can be attacking downhill is going to very well determine whether the Hawks can get back level in the series. With Bogdan Bogdanovic still ailing from a knee injury, Atlanta is lacking in the creator department beyond Young, and an injury to Young would be a highly unfortunate way for one of the most exciting and fun playoff runs in recent memory to potentially come to a close.