Trae Young chases history as Atlanta Hawks visit Chicago Bulls


Trae Young chases history as Atlanta Hawks visit Chicago Bulls

Young is looking to make history
Young is looking to make historyReuters
Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young can make NBA history on Tuesday against the host Chicago Bulls.

In each of the past seven games, Young tallied at least 30 points and 10 assists, tying Oscar Robertson for the longest streak in league history. For Young and the Hawks, they hope a win is attached to a record-setting game.

Despite their superstar's offensive explosion, the Hawks are 3-4 during Young's streak and have lost their past two games, the latest being a six-point home defeat against the Memphis Grizzlies.

For Young, getting back in the win column is priority number one.

"I don't want to talk about my stats," Young said of his current stretch. "Let's talk about something else."

A subject Young was willing to speak on was the impending return of Hawks forward Jalen Johnson. The third-year player was averaging career highs of 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest before breaking his wrist on November 25th against the Wizards.

Johnson, who has missed the past month, has watched from the bench as Atlanta has dropped 10 of its 14 games since his injury. Johnson was cleared to return to practice last week and is expected to return in Chicago on Tuesday. He was officially listed as questionable to oppose the Bulls.

"(Jalen) brings a lot to us," Young said. "I know if Jalen is ready to be back for the next game or the one after that, he's going to help us. We definitely miss him. Obviously with the way we've been playing, we're low on size and rebounding. Everybody has to step up, but he will definitely help us in big ways."

Johnson's rebounding would add a needed toughness to Tuesday's matchup in Chicago -- one that features the second- and fifth-best offensive rebounding teams in the Eastern Conference respectively, in the Hawks and the Bulls.

Johnson is set to return from injury
Johnson is set to return from injuryProfimedia

The Hawks will also be without forward De'Andre Hunter who will undergo a non-surgical procedure Tuesday to address right knee inflammation detected by an MRI on Saturday. Hunter had missed the previous two games and will be out at least another two weeks.

Chicago's in the midst of a five-game homestand in which it has won two of three.

Another team plagued by the injury bug, the Bulls have been without Zach Lavine (foot) since November 30th, and hope to see him back on the court before the end of the month.

Helping to replace Lavine's scoring has been Demar DeRozan (22.3 points per game) and Coby White (17.6 points per game). Through 31 games, White has enjoyed career highs in points, field goals (6.3), 3-point percentage (45.6) and assists (5.0).

Bulls head coach Billy Donovan has commended White's efforts this season, especially the way the fifth-year player has manoeuvred Chicago's pick-and-roll game.

White has been in great form for the Bulls
White has been in great form for the BullsProfimedia

"If you watch any great offensive player, those shoulders are always at the basket," Donovan said. "They play in front, and they're able to turn it down or come off. And he's getting better at making those reads."

White's career year has been crucial for the Bulls offense, which has struggled to score this season. Entering Tuesday at 110 points scored per game, Chicago ranks fourth-to-last in the league, compared to the league's third-best offense in Atlanta (122.7 points per game).

The Tuesday game is the first matchup between the teams this year. They won't square off again until February 12th in Atlanta.


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