Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer offered not definitive word as to whether Paul Millsap will return for Sunday’s game against the Nets. However, there are positive signs that the starting power forward will be able to play after missing eight games with left knee synovitis. Millsap did not play against the Bulls but did a pregame workout on Saturday. He took part in much of a practice on Friday.
“Paul came out of the practice activity well,” Budenholzer said of the Friday practice in which Millsap participated in about 70 percent of the activity. “He is continuing to make positive progress. He’ll get another workout today. We’ll see how that goes and hope for the best. … Obviously a positive sign he handled the workout well.”
The Hawks have three days between games after they play at the Nets and before they host the Celtics on Thursday. Budenholzer said the extra time off is a consideration on when Millsap returns.
“We are being aggressively cautious,” Budenholzer said. “We are definitely aware that if the doesn’t play then he has three more days. We are not going to do anything to compromise the big picture.”
The Hawks were also without starting small forward Thabo Sefolosha against the Bulls, the fourth straight game he as missed with a right groin strain. Budenholzer said there is “probably less certainty” as to when Sefolosha could return.
Budenholzer said Kent Bazemore came out of Wednesday’s game against the 76ers in good shape and will be again limited to about 20 minutes against the Bulls. Bazemore missed five games with a right knee bone bruise.