One day after missing a game with right elbow tendinitis, Paul Millsap returned to the Hawks lineup Wednesday.
The forward was in the starting lineup against the Pistons. He did not travel with the team for Tuesday’s game at the Heat.
“I think that he is feeling better,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He and we feel like he is good to go.”
The Hawks also had Lou Williams available. The guard did not play against the Heat, as the team is initially not using him in back-to-back games. Williams had a minutes restriction, but Budenholzer declined to say how long he would play.
In Williams’ season debut, last week against the 76ers, he was limited to 16 minutes.
Mack stepping up: In the Hawks’ previous two games, Shelvin Mack was the first backup point guard off the bench behind Jeff Teague. Rookie Dennis Schroder had filled that role except for his one-game NBA suspension.
Mack had a double-double of 12 points and 12 assists in 24 minutes against the Knicks. He had seven points and two assists in 25 minutes against the Heat. Schroder did not play against the Knicks and played only five minutes against the Heat.
Budenholzer would not say if the recent bench rotation is an indication that Mack has assumed the primary backup point guard position.
“I think that Shelvin has played well, obviously the last couple games, but also earlier when he’s had opportunities earlier,” Budenholzer said. “We are with lineups and combinations looking at different groups and the best combinations and the best groups. All of us have things we need to work on and improve, including Dennis. I think Shelvin is taking advantage of his opportunity. We’ll see where it goes from here.”
Horford’s minutes: Al Horford has averaged 32.4 minutes through 11 games. The minutes are down slightly from the 34.6 he averaged through his first six seasons.
“I know a little of the history of Al’s minutes, but I haven’t really concerned myself a whole lot with what has happened in the past,” Budenholzer said. “For me going forward, managing our players’ health and energy, also developing your bench, there are a lot of different things that can be positives about whatever words you want to use — managing, keeping the minutes down. That is something that is important to us as a group, not just for Al, but for everybody.”