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Hawks depth could provide immense value as NBA returns to 82-game schedule

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“Last year we had so many injuries, I think we only played one game with the full roster, then we started having injuries…we never played with the whole team. I’m excited to see that, like coach said it’s going to be sacrifice.”

Atlanta returns all key contributors from last season, and adds Delon Wright, Gorgui Dieng, Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper to the mix all while getting healthier across the board compared to last season minus the shoulder injury Onyeka Okongwu is rehabbing from. As the Hawks prepare to return to the 82-game marathon for the first time since 2018-19, they do have four players already managing some sort of injury that has carried over from the deep playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21.

De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Kevin Huerter are all ‘limited’ to start training camp. All of these injuries stem from the grind of last season’s compact 72-game schedule then obviously the postseason run.

Whether it’s the beginning of the season or somewhere down the line, Atlanta now has the depth to let guys take all the time they need and more to get to 100%. Injuries ravaged the Hawks and many other teams last season, and the return to 82 games off another short offseason may be a recipe for more of the same if guys don’t receive adequate rest and recovery.

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