Hawks’ biggest nightmare: Millsap suffers shoulder injury

Paul Millsap sits on the bench shortly after suffering shoulder injury. (AP photo)

Paul Millsap sits on the bench shortly after suffering shoulder injury. (AP photo)

Paul Millsap sits on the bench shortly after suffering shoulder injury. (AP photo)

The latest chapter in this dream of a Hawks’ season:  a 131-99 dismembering of the Brooklyn Nets, a potential playoff opponent, for their franchise record-tying 57th win.

The potential season nightmare coming from the same game: Paul Millsap laying on the court in agony.

Millsap, arguably their best player in what has been their best season, suffered a right shoulder injury late in the second quarter when he collided with Brooklyn’s Earl Clark. Both players were going for a loose ball. Millsap fell to the court and was on his back for a few minutes. He eventually left the court with a team trainer, did not return and was not available for comment afterward.

Predictably, coach Mike Budenholzer offered little about Millsap’s injury after the Hawks’ lopsided 131-99 win over the Nets: “We’ll evaluate more tomorrow and Monday. I don’t know any more. I can’t guess any more.”

Budeholzer’s view of the play: “I thought he got run over. It was a loose ball, two guys going for it. I think he got hit pretty good.”

This was the Hawks’ biggest fear. They have only six games left in the regular season and they already have clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The only thing left to be determined is their first-round opponent. It could be be the Nets, who despite the loss, remained seventh overall in the East at 35-41, one-half game ahead of No. 8 Boston (35-42) and one ahead of No. 9 Miami (34-42). Regardless of their playoff opponent, the Hawks’ only concern is having everybody healthy.

As for Brooklyn, imagine the irony if the Hawks wound up facing the Nets and Joe Johnson in the first round? The Johnson trade in 2012 started the team’s rebuilding project — and nobody understands that more than the former Hawks’ guard. For more on that with comments from Johnson, click here.


Some recent ramblings from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Hawks’ turnaround started with trade of Joe Johnson — and he knows it
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— MyAJC: Real news would be Tiger Woods making shots
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— AJC: Are Braves really second-worst team in majors (thank you, Philly)?
— AJC: Falcons will pay appropriate penalties for dumb decision
— MyAJC: Paul Millsap: The 6-8 kid who couldn’t dunk now leading Hawks
— AJC: Hawks clinch East, act like it’s no big deal (which is probably good)
— MyAJC: NBA needs to curtail resting of players
— AJC: Will Falcons, others avoid losing draft picks this year?
— MyAJC: Basketball is where Georgia State’s focus should be
— AJC: New reality at Georgia State: What Ron Hunter wants, he gets
— MyAJC: Hawks get drilled, and concerns may be growing
— MyAJC: Georgia better but still not where it needs to be
— AJC: Mark Fox returns subtle fire at Brian Gregory before tournament
— MyAJC: Gregory knows he needs to make most of his extended lifeline
— AJC: Gregory says he gave Izzo ‘everything’ he has on Georgia
— AJC: Timing is everything, as Tech keeps Gregory
— AJC: Tech expected to keep Gregory, but former coach (Hewitt) fired again
— MyAJC: Column on Quinn, Dimitroff defending moves, philosophy
— AJC: Exclusive: Q&A with Quinn, Dimitroff on Falcons’ moves
— MyAJC: Tech’s candidate pool may be thin if Gregory fired
— AJC: Tech’s decision on Brian Gregory tougher than you might think
— MyAJC: Georgia erratic but ceiling high in tournament
— AJC: NCAA tourney: Dogs should be in, Panthers must do a little more
— MyAJC: Georgia State at center of state’s hoops’ rebirth

Reader Comments 0

37 comments
p-h-i-l
p-h-i-l

This is the Hawks were talking about. Never have done anything, and weren't going to this year either. This will just get it over with even quicker. Sad but true.

VeryDisgusted
VeryDisgusted

Until someone announces something we have no clue how serious the injury is


Milsap is too valuable to lose -- I think we lose too much if he is out they are done by the second round

DawgNole
DawgNole

@VeryDisgusted

Well, Olivia has announced that it's a season ender.

Surely she knows better than anyone else.

Olivia_Coleman_Bernard31
Olivia_Coleman_Bernard31

If you watch the replay in slow motion he was already reaching for the injury with his other hand before his back even hit the court as he was still falling. Its going to be season ending. You know they have already done a MRI. Now only to break the bad news to the team first, then the public.  This sucks. Hope he gets better. Its the mans health were talking about. Still wont miss all his missed free throws however.

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Hopefully its not Serious. Get Well.  Next man up. Go Hawks !!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Muscla will started with Horford the rest of the games, so we are ok, Muscla brings a lot of energy on defense.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

He will be ok just sit the rest of games out until playoffs.


Get better Sap we need you Bro.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mic404
mic404

Can the Hawks make it to the Eastern Conference Finals without Paul, YES! Can the Hawks beat the Cavs without Paul, NO! Still would be a good season, and a building block going forward.  

mic404
mic404

It's not like Al going down, Hawks have a lot of options at power forward. Mike Scott for one, not as clutch but can explode for big numbers. They could move Al to his natural position, and play big. Muscala is playing good and they just signed Austin Daye to a multi year contract. I got a bad feeling Paul is done, it amazing how "soft" these guys are today. The guy just bumped into him and he's rolling around on the court, I took shots like that when I 10 yrs old playing outside and shook it off.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@mic404 Seriously. It amuses me how fragile these guys are nowadays. You cant be a 250 ibs man and cry like a baby. It wasn't even like a NFL scenario tackle or anything.

ray11
ray11

@Dirtyb8 @mic404 Both of you are complete idiots. If he is "done" like you say, it would be a muscle tear. There really isn't anything he can do to avoid a freak muscle tear. Also, Milsap is the best player and if he can't go, the hawks will do nothing in the playoffs. Mike Scott is nowhere near Milsap at any skill. The fact you mention Muscala is hilarious. If he gets playoff minutes, the hawks are screwed. You mentioned Austin Daye too LOLOLOL

mic404
mic404

@ray11  If the guy tore his muscle on a bump like that then he's really soft! Your making my case, and I do recall a game bout a year or two ago when Paul went down and Mike Scott dropped like 40 on the Knicks. Then just last year in the playoffs when Mike Scott went for 30 against the Pacers on the road. Who's the idoit??? You can't be a Hawks fan, just stop!!!

ray11
ray11

@mic404 @ray11 So mike scott had two good games and is worthy of replacing a back to back all star. Also, please tell me you aren't that stupid with regard to an injury. You can not control a muscle tear! Just so we are clear, you believe when someone tears his acl without contact, it is because he is soft? correct? YOU CAN NOT BE THIS STUPID

DarrynLee
DarrynLee

@mic404 @ray11 How is getting a muscle tear means a player is soft? Soft means not wanting to get mix it up. Not wanting to get banged up getting a rebound or a loose ball.

Olivia_Coleman_Bernard31
Olivia_Coleman_Bernard31

Milsap is not a very good free throw shooter and in the playoffs every shot and drive to the basket is contested. Milsap's missed free throws wont be missed.

ZeyFromTheAy
ZeyFromTheAy

Guys, don't be scared of this injury we're a TEAM. We can survive the first round. It wasn't even that bad of a shoulder injury. Hopefully when he gets back it's not a nagging injury like with Anthony Davis' shoulder. But plug in Muscala and we're fine. SCOTT'S back, Dennis will be back, Thabo is BACK!

This isn't Lebron going down or Stephen Curry. All of our players are good, we're a team. This isn't statistics and math with us. The Hawks and the Spurs team is science and CHEMISTRY. We'll be fine, I believe he'll be good for the playoffs or a few games into the 1st round. He plays WELL with injuries he's a warrior! If he's down for the first round I have much confidence that we'll still come out on top. We need full strength for the 2nd round though.

GO HAWKS!!! No more injuries!

crackbaby
crackbaby

@ZeyFromTheAy Appreciate the optimism but you need to understand Millsap is the best player on this team.

Need a big inside move and bucket?  4 to close.  

Who took advantage of open space when teams paid too much attention to Korver?  #4.  

Who helps Al defend the middle against big teams like Memphis and Indy?  Sap. 

Paul MIllsap is the Hawks best and smartest player.  When he's on the court,  everybody else is better.


Come back strong, #4!  Go Hawks

DawgNole
DawgNole

@ZeyFromTheAy: "We can survive the first round."

____________________

NOT enough!

A number of ATL Hawks teams have survived the first round. NONE have ever survived Round 2. EVER! And this team, with its remarkable run of regular-season success, will be no better than its predecessors if it falls short of Round 3 yet again.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

If we lose him it will be the end of the Hawks run.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

Get well soon Sap, we all know this team does well when you lead the way...

atlfanman
atlfanman

A totally dominant performance marred by Millsap's injury. Like many other Hawk fans can only hope it is not serious.

huffyman
huffyman

All year I said get another big man - in case Mill or Horford went down - some people forgot the last 2 years playing without Horford - that's a mistake.


Now its too late - we're 1 key injury away from being irrelevant.


GET WELL MILL - WE NEED YOU !!!

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

I hope its not that bad. Sure it was a hard hit but he didn't look too terribly in pain. Heck, I was hit way harder than that and I sure didn't miss school for it.

JSSN
JSSN

Well you better hope for the best and end the negative talk in the terms of such things. Milsap is a needed piece for what they need in seven game series.


HotDawg
HotDawg

Shorten the NBA season. 

Disgustingly long. 


HotDawg
HotDawg

As Don Merideth said....The party's over. Call it a day.

If Hawks lose 1st or 2nd series and can't even get a lottery pick from the Nets (through the trade), because the Nets made the playoffs, this will be a PITIFUL season.

Injuries destroy the BEST teams in EVERY sport. It Sucks.

Dis custed
Dis custed

@HotDawg  I must apologize but what was the medical diagnosis and expected return ? ESPN has day to day and the Hawks coach hasn't said anything publicly so I was curious as to your source.

Stingshuh?
Stingshuh?

@HotDawg Nshields................"Injuries destroy the BEST teams in EVERY sport".........that's his feeble attempt to make yet another excuse for his dawgs mediocrity.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

@Stingshuh? @HotDawg What's Tech's excuse for losing to UNC and Duke in football?  What's their excuse for sucking the past 4 seasons in basketball?