Paul Millsap to miss at least two games with shoulder sprain and contusion

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Paul Millsap had a simple answer for the Hawks standing pat at the trade deadline: “43-11.”

But at 57-19, Atlanta is hitting a bump in the road.

Hawks release:

Hawks forward Paul Millsap suffered a right shoulder injury with 1:52 remaining in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. An X-ray was negative and an MRI revealed a right shoulder sprain and contusion.

Millsap will miss the next two games, and his status will be updated as appropriate.

If Millsap sits these two games and gets fully healthy, great. This is the advantage of having already clinched the No. 1 seed. Atlanta doesn’t need Millsap until the playoffs begin.

But if this injury lingers…

Given the two-game timeline – the Hawks could easily rest him their remaining six games – that seems unlikely. We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.

More immediately, this helps the Nets. Atlanta’s next opponent, the Suns, are all but eliminated from playoff contention. Following that, though, Brooklyn – in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race – sure won’t mind playing a short-handed version of the Hawks.