What was at one point a dream season – four All-Stars, the Eastern Conference’s best record , home court advantage against LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals – has been shot to bits within four days’ time.
BREAKING: Kyle Korver is OUT for the remainder of the playoffs with ankle injury.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) May 23, 2015
The All-Star took x-rays following the game which showed no sign of a broken bone in his right leg, but it was eventually discovered that Korver suffered a severe high right ankle sprain when Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova rolled into him while chasing down a loose ball:
Korver has struggled during the postseason. He’s made just 35.5 percent of his three-pointers during the playoffs after an absurd regular season that saw him hit 49 percent of his looks from long range. Kyle has shot just 39 percent overall while struggling to lurch free of playoff-styled defense intent on stopping the game’s most dangerous three-point shooter (via Tom Haberstroh) from acquiring good looks. His substandard play, relative to his All-Star-level brilliance from the regular season, is a huge part of the reason why Atlanta struggled to dispatch both Brooklyn and Washington before dropping two home games to the Cavaliers in the Conference finals.
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Fellow Hawks swingman DeMarre Carroll gutted through a left knee bruise and made it through 33 minutes in Game 2, but he also missed four of six shots and added just six points after entering the series as Atlanta’s top postseason scorer. The team’s depth at that position is also lacking due to the absence of Thabo Sefolosha, whose broken right fibula was allegedly caused at the needless hand of the NYPD.
The Hawks can go big in Korver’s absence, bringing perimeter-orientated Mike Scott off the pine or Austin Daye out of the mothballs, but this is a crucial blow for a team charged with winning two games in Cleveland just to get back to where it was entering Wednesday evening.
- - - - - - -