Hawks’ Johnson, Okongwu out of play-in tournament

Hawks’ Johnson, Okongwu out of play-in tournament

The Atlanta Hawks (36-44 straight up, 28-52 against the spread) won’t have two of their best players, forward Jalen Johnson and center Onyeka Okongwu, for next week’s Eastern Conference play-in tournament.

Quin Snyder’s club isn’t expected to have a pulse in three weeks, so these are most likely season-ending injuries.

Johnson sprained his ankle in Tuesday’s double-overtime loss to Miami. He’s going to be out for at least three weeks.

Johnson, the third-year player who played one season at Duke before going pro, has enjoyed a breakout campaign. He’s averaged 33.7 minutes per in starting 52 of 56 games.

Johnson has produced career-best numbers in every significant category except for field-goal percentage. He’s averaged 16.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocked shots per game.

Johnson has buried 51.1 percent of his field-goal attempts, 35.5 percent of his 3-pointers and 72.8 percent of his free throws.

In eight starts and 55 regular-season games this year, Okongwu logged 25.5 minutes per game, averaging 10.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocked shots per game. He’s knocked down 61.1 percent of his FGAs, 33.3 percent of his treys and 79.3 percent of his FTAs.

Okongwu was initially sidelined with turf toe after a home loss to Chicago on Feb. 12. At that time, he had scored in double figures in nine consecutive games, posting three double-doubles. He produced 22 points, 16 boards and two blocked shots in a 141-134 overtime win over Golden St. on Feb. 3.

Since going down in mid-February, however, Okongwu has played in only two games. He returned on March 18 and played in back-to-back losses, but the USC product has been out since then.

According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Okongwu underwent a non-surgical procedure Tuesday to address inflammation in his left big toe. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in four weeks.

With two games remaining at Minnesota on Friday and at Indiana on Sunday, Atlanta is in 10th place in the East, 1.5 games behind the Bulls, who have three games left. If the play-in tournament started today, the Hawks would play at Philadelphia.

FanDuel has Atlanta and Chicago with 950/1 odds to win the NBA Finals.