The Hawks will hold Tiago Splitter out through the upcoming all-star break in an effort to get his sore right hip in playing condition.
Splitter missed his fourth straight game in Sunday’s afternoon matchup with the Magic with the injury. The reserve center will also sit out Monday’s home game against the Magic and Wednesday’s road game against the Bulls for a stint of at least six games. After the game against the Bulls, the Hawks don’t play again until Feb. 19, a span of eight days.
“Hopefully we’ll do everything we can to get him in a good place,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
Splitter also missed seven games with the sore right hip and four games with a sore right calf earlier this season. He has appeared in 36 games and averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.1 minutes.
The Hawks have turned to Mike Muscala in Splitter’s recent absence. In the past three games, he averaged 7.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 16.7 minutes. He played sparingly the past two months, appearing in 13 of the 22 previous before Splitter’s most recent injury, and averaged less than five minutes per game.
“The fact that he hadn’t played much, to step in and be ready to play pretty good is a statement to how he works,” Budenholzer said. “I’m pleased with how he kept himself ready. And his activity defensively, his length at the rim and his verticality at the rim has been really good. I think the pace with which (he has played), he has gotten some easy baskets in transition and beat people down the court. He’s moving the ball and playing within what we do. He’s really stepped in and done well after not playing much for a good month or so.”
Muscala said he has stayed in shape by taking part in 3-on-3 workouts before road games and a doing heavy workouts after home games.
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable out there,” Muscala said. “It feels good to get some minutes and contribute. I’m just taking it one game at a time.”
Muscala will likely continue to get the bulk of Splitter’s minutes until his return. In 37 games, he has averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.9 minutes.