The Atlanta Hawks have been without young wing De'Andre Hunter since Nov. 12 because of a wrist injury. But Hunter is on the verge of a return to help out a struggling Hawks team. With Atlanta set to face the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, fans want to know: Is De'Andre Hunter playing vs. the Heat?
Is De'Andre Hunter playing vs. Heat
Hawks president Travis Schlenk said Tuesday that De'Andre Hunter would go through a full practice and then a determination would be made if he could play against the Heat on Wednesday. Hunter is officially listed as questionable, so this could come down to the wire.
Atlanta could certainly use Hunter back in the lineup. After a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Hawks have stumbled out to a 17-22 record to start the 2021-22 season, which has them outside the play-in tournament.
While Atlanta boasts one of the best offenses in the NBA, the defense is one of the worst. The Hunter injury has played a role in this, as did a recent COVID-19 outbreak that decimated the roster, but there will be no more excuses as the second half of the season rolls around. Schlenk recently called out his team for underachieving, and trade rumors have been swirling.
Hunter's return should help the defense, and he also brings solid 3-point shooting to the table. In 11 games played before the injury, the 24-year-old averaged 10.8 points and shot nearly 40% from 3-point range.
Staying healthy is going to be a key for De'Andre Hunter whenever he does return to the court. He appeared in just 23 games last season and then just five playoff games during Atlanta's postseason run. He dealt with a knee injury that knocked him out of the playoffs and required surgery.
So, we'll just have to wait and see if De'Andre Hunter winds up playing tonight against the Heat. Stay tuned.