Atlanta will pull caution with De’Andre Hunter. The forward, who arrives at the current training camp after undergoing two surgeries on his right knee in 2021 (the last in June) will start the preseason with less workload from his teammates, something that according to the general manager of the Georgia organization, Travis Schlenk, will not prevent him from being one hundred percent when the official games begin; reports Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The reluctance to physically demand Hunter from the first moment is logical. He was only able to play 23 regular-season games last year due to a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. It was a major problem, but it grew more when it was played shortly after the playoffs started. In the postseason he couldn’t play against Philadelphia or Milwaukee.
The Hawks see the young forward as a piece that can help them improve after a fantastic 2020-21 season. In addition to being solvent in attack, his ability to perform at the same level in defense stands out, which can make him an essential element as two-way player. To be exact, he averaged 15 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 29.5 minutes per night while in full physical condition.
If the price to have him for 82 games is that it takes longer than the rest to pick up the pace, this is cheap. Atlanta’s goal is that what they achieved last year, when they reached the Eastern Conference finals, is not an anecdote. For this, any help is welcome.
(Photograph by Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)