Mike Budenholzer has shortened the Hawks bench to nine players recently and you can expect more of the same, barring injury, over the final 20 games of the regular season.
The move has left Mike Muscala on the outside looking in. The forward/center played a big role for the Hawks early in the season. However, he has not played in the past three games and played a combined nine minutes in the previous two games.
Kris Humphries and rookie DeAndre Bembry have been left out as has the injured Mike Dunleavy.
“I would say that we are pretty happy with those nine guys,” Budenholzer said. “Muscala is the kinda the 10th, the one who has gotten squeezed. He really has played well for us this year. Feel like he can help us. We know he’s ready.”
The addition of Ersan Ilyasova has cut Muscala’s playing time. Humphries has not played in the past five games. Bembry has not played in the past four games and played a combined seven minutes in the prior two games. Bembry was inactive for Monday’s game against the Warriors.
“The nine guys and the way Ersan has played and quickly integrated and playing smaller a little bit, we’ve done it now for a good four, five, six game and I think we feel good about that rotation,” Budenholzer said.