Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks

Hawks’ Hinrich likely out for Game 1 with strained hamstring

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As if the Hawks don’t face enough challenges taking on the top seeded Chicago Bulls in the second round, it now looks like they now have to go without their defensive-minded starting point guard for at least a game against Derrick Rose. So good luck with that.

Kirk Hinrich pulled up lame with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter Hawks closeout win against Orlando and after an MRI on Friday seems like he will be out for Game 1 Sunday, according to ESPN.

“I saw him when he was leaving the building, and his spirits were really good, but he was limping,” (coach Larry) Drew said. “And that was not a good sign.”

Officially it is a strained hamstring. Those are injuries that can both linger and easily reaggrivate if not fully healed before stepping back on the court.

Hinrich is Atlanta’s best defensive guard and would have drawn a lot of time on Rose. In his absence, look for more Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague. Which is not good for the Hawks, who already face a lot of challenges in this series.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.