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Game Thread: Muscala to start for Millsap

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Mike Muscala will start in place of the injured Paul Millsap for the Hawks in Tuesday’s game against the Suns.

Muscala, who will  make his fourth start of the season, will play center and Al Horford will move to power forward. The Hawks will go with the rest of their starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll. Millsap will miss the next two games with a right shoulder injury suffered Saturday.

“We’ve got  guys who can play both positions and the way our offense works lots of times (positions) are applicable,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said of moving Horford to forward. “It’s really giving (Muscala) a chance. When we can play a little bit bigger and play Al and Pero (Antic) together, that combination defensively has been good. It’s just great to have versatile bigs who can play both (frontcourt) positions.”

Budenholzer said he has been pleased with the progress that Muscala has made this season – especially the last few games.

“It’s interesting because one of the things you love about Mike is how hard he plays,” Budenholzer said. “Then sometimes young players play so hard they can almost be counter-productive. He has managed to play just as hard and things have slowed down for him. He’s making better decisions. His passing, over the last 10 days or so, you can see where he is making great decisions and making passes and playing unselfishly. Again for a young player, sometimes it takes some time for them to appreciate to make the right read, to make the right decision. (The ball) will come back to them. They’ll still get great opportunities. He’s been a scorer everywhere he’s been. He can still score for us but he needs to make the right read and the right decision. I think all of those things have really improved.”

Dennis Schroder will most likely play, according to Budenholzer. The coach said a final decision would not be made until after the point guard warms up prior to the game.


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