ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks are facing another injury that could affect their preparation for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Clint Capela, the Hawks’ best rebounder and one of the NBA’s best defenders, threw an accidental elbow to his face in the closing minutes of a 110-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
In a postseason fraught with significant injuries, Capela was hit in the right eye by Bucks guard Sam Merrill in a game under the basket. The Center Hawks left the field with a towel over his face and did not return.
After being examined shortly after the game by a team of ophthalmologists and re-examined after the team arrived in Milwaukee, Capela was listed as the player in question for Game 5 with inflammation of the eye.
The Hawks leveled at 2-2 despite missing star guard Trae Young, who injured his right ankle in a freak accident when he stepped on the referee’s foot along the sideline in Game 3.
A @emoryhealthcare Injury report for tomorrow’s game in Milwaukee:
Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee pain): Possible
Clint Capela (inflammation of the right eye): Questionable
Trae Young (bruised right leg bone): Questionable
Brandon Goodwin: Out
De’Andre Hunter: Out pic.twitter.com/IS5NCoz39g
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 30, 2021
With veteran Lou Williams replacing Young and scoring 21 points, the Hawks had a dominating victory.
McMillan said Young’s status for Thursday’s contest would likely be made shortly before the tipoff, as was the case for Game 4.
“He doesn’t feel comfortable enough to put pressure on his feet,” said the coach. “We will get a report [Wednesday], but I’m sure he will be the match-time decision.”
The Bucks are also facing a nagging injury to one of their key players. Two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as a doubt for Game 5 after coming off in Tuesday’s third quarter with a bent left knee attempting to dunk by Capela.
Atlanta has dealt with multiple injuries throughout the season, most recently losing De’Andre Hunter for the remainder of the playoffs after he injured his right knee in an opening-round win over the Knicks. Hunter underwent surgery for a torn lateral meniscus and is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp.
Cam Reddish also missed most of the season with an Achilles injury, but he played a big role in Game 4. In just his second appearance since February 21, the sophomore scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and had two steals and a block in just over 23 minutes. play time.
“You have to adapt,” McMillan said. “That’s part of the build. It’s part of the NBA.”
Prior to Capela’s injury, he played an extraordinary game that made social media go crazy. While tumbling out of bounds behind the ring, with shot time running out, he launched a single shot up the board with 7-foot-high Brook Lopez in the face.
Nothing but a net.
“Sometimes there’s a game in the game, whether you make or your opponent makes, that you know it might be your night,” McMillan said with a smile. “I thought Larry Bird shot like that, but it’s not as deep as Clint’s. Clint was out of bounds and disappeared. You just feel like it’s going to be our night when the ball goes through. ”