Hawks lose All-Star Paul Millsap for at least two games

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The Atlanta Hawks are sliding — they lost eight in a row before running into the slump buster that is the Knicks Saturday.

But that slide could continue with now that the Hawks will have to go without All-Star Paul Millsap for a couple of games due to a bruised right knee. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the details.

Paul Millsap will not play against the Bulls Tuesday or the Celtics Wednesday, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Millsap suffered a right knee contusion in Friday’s loss to the Pistons. The injury forced the power forward to miss Saturday’s win over the Knicks. Now, the Hawks will be without their All-Star for at least two more games.

That Wednesday Celtics games tips off a rough road trip out West where the Hawks face the Suns, Trail Blazers, Warriors and Clippers. Atlanta was going to struggle there with a healthy Millsap. You’d normally say that could hurt a team’s playoff chances, except they play in the East.

The Hawks at 26-29 have fallen from the East’s third seed to eighth, three-and-a-half games ahead of the Pistons and five up on the Cavaliers. That’s a decent cushion for the Hawks considering Detroit and Cleveland are not exactly hard charging.

Somebody is going to stumble into the final playoff slot in the East. Might as well be the Hawks.