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Hawks' Dejounte Murray Ruled Out vs. Knicks With Ankle Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2022

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 05:  Dejounte Murray #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after missing free throws in the final seconds against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at State Farm Arena on December 05, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks announced they will be without Dejounte Murray for the rest of Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks because of the left ankle sprain he suffered in the first half.

Murray scored two points on the free-throw line and did not attempt a field goal in the four minutes he played prior to exiting.

Atlanta acquired Murray from the San Antonio Spurs via trade this past offseason, and he has played well in his first campaign in the Eastern Conference. Entering Wednesday's contest, he was averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from deep.

The 2021-22 All-Star is the type of high-ceiling backcourt running mate the Hawks have been looking to pair Trae Young with, and the result has been a solid start to the season.

They are 13-11, which is good enough for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference standings. While they may not have the depth of high-end talent to challenge the Boston Celtics or Milwaukee Bucks, the Hawks look like a team that could make a relatively deep run in the postseason with Young and Murray leading the way.

It's not the best timing for a setback for the latter, though, as Wednesday kicked off a run of 10 matchups in 11 games against Eastern Conference foes for Atlanta.

This is an opportunity to solidify itself as a true playoff contender, but it may be short-handed for some of that stretch if Murray cannot return in the immediate future.

Look for Young to shoulder even more of the offensive responsibility while he is sidelined, while Jarrett Culver and Aaron Holiday will likely see more playing time as well.