Josh Smith’s fingers are fine

 

Josh Smith's left hand will be healed in time for the start of training camp Sept. 29. The Hawks forward needed seven stitches to close a gash on his hand after jamming it on the rim during a pickup game Tuesday.

Josh Smith's left hand will be healed in time for the start of training camp Sept. 29. The Hawks forward needed seven stitches to close a gash on his hand after jamming it on the rim during a pickup game Tuesday.

HAWKSVILLE – Hawks forward Josh Smith needed seven stitches to close a gash on his left hand between his index and middle fingers.

He suffered the injury on the Hawks’ practice court Tuesday while playing in a pickup game with several of his Hawks teammates and other pros in town working out in anticipation of training camp. Smith said he’ll be fine for the start of training camp Sept. 29, but he’ll spend the days leading up to that with his left hand heavily wrapped.

“It was a nasty gash,” Smith said Wednesday. “It was bad. I could see all the way through there. It was split open, like somebody took some scissors and just cut it right open. But it looked a lot worse than it really is. I’ve got to keep it wrapped up for the next 10 days and then I’m good to go.”

Smith said he suffered through an assortment of bumps and bruises during his summer workouts but nothing as serious as Tuesday’s scrape. He caught his hand in the rim while trying to elevate to block a Jeff Teague layup attempt and immediately ran off the floor and into a corner clutching his left hand. He hustled off the floor and to the Hawks’ team doctor’s office to get the wound stitched up.

“I’m hopeful that I’ve got all this injury stuff out of my system right now while the summer is still going on,” Smith said with a smile. “I’m trying to play 82 games plus the playoffs this season. The good thing for me is that I’m already in great shape. So it’s not like the next 10 days were going to make or break me from a conditioning standpoint. I’m around 230 [pounds] right now and feeling good, so I’ll be ready to get into the mix on the first day of camp.”

So Ariose and anyone else interested in hitting the panic button with a sledgehammer, you can relax now!

BIG BOYS IN THE HOUSE

It’s not often that rookie free agent center Garret Siler is forced to look up to someone on a basketball court.

But that’s exactly what happened to the 7-footer Wednesday when Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum cut through the door of the Hawks’ practice facility to get a workout in at the John “Beans” Beckett Invitational. Bynum and Siler matched up in two different games and Siler acquitted himself well, neither big man dominated the action – that honor belonged to veteran pro Jerry Stackhouse (who has been on a tear this week on both ends of the floor against players much younger).

Siler said he was just happy to have the chance to compete against a pro of Bynum’s caliber.

“This is the best test for me to see guys like [Hawks center] Al Horford and [Bynum] out here,” Siler said. “It helps mentally when you can say, ‘hey, i’m d’ing this guy up and he plays for the world champions. He’s got a ring.’ So if you can hold your own going against and he’s not just destroying you, hey, you must be doing something right.” 

It appears that Siler has been doing plenty right this summer. He’s noticeably slimmer today compared to what folks saw of him during the Hawks’ rookie/free agent mini-camp in late July. He said working out back home in Augusta, mostly with his former coaches and some of his teammates that stuck around for the summer, is what helped him get in top physical shape.

“It’s basically up to you,” he said. “It’s about how many  shots you want to put up before and or after a workout. You can go from 11 in the morning to 2 p.m in the afternoon on the court. But it’s your option to go to the weight room before that and get up those shots afterward. It’s what you do and how much you want to get better at this level. How much work you put is basically equal to what you get out of it.”

The toughest transition for Siler in these dog days leading up to training camp is finding his way around town.

“I can’t lie to you, my GPS is my friend right now,” Siler said and then laughed. “I do know a lot of the streets right around downtown. I know a lot of the are around here. But it’s about trying to get your bearings down and get a feel for the basics. You start with Peachtree and then Spring Street and then go from there.”

STACK’S HOUSE?

Stackhouse has been drawing raves from players in attendance for not only his veteran savvy but also his still explosive game, on both ends of the floor. There are no official stats kept at the JBBI, but if someone were keeping track Stackhouse would be leading pack in blocks and defensive takeaways.

“The thing that you notice is that he’s still got it,” Smith said. “You can’t hide on this floor, so if Stack is in your neighborhood he’s coming after you and you better be ready to go because he’s not giving you an inch.”

On the eve of what will be his 15th NBA season, Stackhouse is a free agent and open to the idea of exploring his options here and elsewhere.

Stay tuned for more on Stakchouse, who relocated to the area this summer, in my weekend NBA Insider in Sunday’s paper as well as on ajc.com.

ONE TO KEEP AN EYE ON

Another player in town and on the training camp roster worth keeping an eye on is Frank Robinson. The energetic swingman just makes plays. He did the same thing during training camp last year, when he was one of the last cuts before the start of the regular season.

Robinson has NBA skills and the frame to play but will have an uphill battle making a case for a spot on a Hawks’ roster loaded with guards in Teague, Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford

Another guard expected to drop in for some work on Thursday is veteran point guard Mike Wilks. His name is one of several veteran point guards that have come up as possible additions to the training camp roster. We shall see.

441 comments Add your comment

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:03 pm

If Syler can hold his own agains Bunum already, wait till he gets some coaching and experience.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:05 pm

Will this stop Smith from shooting 3s? Rebound Smoove Rebound. With that kind of athleticism, its a shame that you don’t get 10 rebounds per game.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:11 pm

Sekou, any chance we would keep Stackhouse? Is he looking for more than vet-min $ ?

UGA

September 16th, 2009
7:13 pm

Sekou,
Nice article. I’m very excitied about the season.

If the Hawks could sign one more player, who would you sign??

Can we still sign Siler or Frank Robinson like we did with Thomas Gardner and Othella Hunter last year?

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:14 pm

Samuel

September 16th, 2009
7:14 pm

That alone should get Siler a spot on our team. What are we waiting for? How can you lose signing a guy like that to the minimum. Cuz, did Fells make it out today?

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:20 pm

Stackhouse would be the perfect backup veteran swingman. Mo could play behind him. Otherwise, we are one injury away from disaster.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:29 pm

Now that Smoove won’t shoot any more 3 pointers, where will Chillz get those airball offensive rebounds if he comes back next year? Stackhouse fits in better than Chillz. We don’t need Chillz’s ball handling with so many great ball handlers in the team.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:31 pm

realgm.com thinks hawks are not built for championship. We have 20th best chance of winning a championship in the next 5 years.
http://realgm.com/src_feature_pieces/819/20090910/five_year_windows/

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:35 pm

We’ll finally see all 82 games on TV.
http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=4791
How many of these games will be on HD?

Nique should find a job he fits in better. He is not an announcer. No more “Heat Check” please.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:41 pm

There was a poll done in hawksquawk.net before the current practice session

Which player will exceed expectations the most in 2009-10

Horford 10 votes
Josh 11 votes
Marvin 14 votes
Crawford 8 votes
Teague 14 votes.

Extremely close.

I bet Teague will run away after his current showing.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:42 pm

I stumbled into something interesting.

Teague is remarkably similar to Harris in measurments. Even twins are not so similar.

http://www.draftexpr…30&pos=1&sort=9

You’ll find Devin Harris followed by Jeff Teague in the 20th and 21st line.

Although Harris’s big head is 1.5 inches further from the ground than Teague’s, their measurments are remarkably close. I don’t know any other combo that is as close as these two.

Exactly same wingspan: 6′7.5″

Exactly same Reach: 8′2.5″

Exactly same No Step Vertical: 30.5″

Exactly same No Step Vertical Reach: 10′9″

Almost same in:

max Vert: Harris 37 Teague 36.5″

max Vert reach: Harris 11′3.5″, Teague 11′3″

Agility: Harris 11.03 Teague 11.05

Sprint: Harris 3.19 Teague 3.18

Weight: Teague is +5 lb.

The only significant difference is that Teague is much stronger than Harris was. Teague bench pressed 13 times, but Harris could do it only 5 times. Actually Teagues seems much stronger than many big and strong guards (sort by bench). Acie Law only had 8 and Rose had 10. Wade 9 and big Stuckey 14.

LOL – Amare,JJ,Marvin,Smoove bench pressed 12 times.

With that kind of strength Teague might be able to guard shooting guards and play effective defense next to Crawford who is a bad defender on shooting guards but an adequate defender on point guards. Since Crawford+Bibby combo would be one of the worst defensive combo ever, Teague’s strength might be the key that will help him stay out of Woody’s dog house next year.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:43 pm

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:45 pm

We all knew Teague is super quick, but I, at least, didn’t realize how strong he is. We really needed a strong point guard to play with weak Crawford, a superior shooting guard who is much better at guarding point guards. I think Bibby+Crawford is a defensive disaster.

What gets me excited is that I can see Crawford+Teague combo might work on the defensive end. I don’t think Teague or Crawford or just about any point guard can guard the bulldog shooting guards of the NBA, but they can play adequate on the back up shooting guards. On the offensive end Teague+Crawford will light up just about any combo backups in the NBA.

I can see all combinations of JJ/Bibby/Crawford/Mo/Teague work well on the defensive end except Bibby/Crawford. Until I realized Teague is bigger and stronger than his height, I thought our back court has too many combinations that do not work. Now I know why the Hawks aren’t looking for a 3rd/4th string point guard.

WhereisJoe

September 16th, 2009
7:45 pm

Where is the so-called Captain of the Hawks? He hasn’t managed to find his way to the arena yet. I haven’t heard anyone say a word about Joe. Sekou, I know he is here in Atl. People have been seeing him but why is he not playing with everybody else.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:51 pm

Josh Smith needed Joe Smith like a little boy needs his daddy. Joe Smith could beat the Antoine Walker out of Josh. Josh should just call Joe – Master Miyagi (Karate Kid).

When Josh was a rookie, he played with Al Harrington and Antoine walker, two proverbial stat guys. Woody treated these two like all stars because they were capable of covering up Woody’s biggest weakness, his deer on headlight offensive philosophy. Young Josh wanted to grow up to be like them even though his skillsets are almost diametrically opposite to those two. And he is still trying.

No more 3s Smoove.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:54 pm

Crawford, being a better scorer, ball handler and passer than Flip, covers up Mo Evans’ weaknesses very well.

Since Crawford is smaller than Flip, he is less likely to steal Mo’s minutes than Flip would.

Woody might want to max Crawford’s minutes out, and take minutes out of Mo.

Flip is strong enough to guard shooting guards, Crawford is not.

Knicks used to put Crawford on point guards and Marbury on shooting guards, because the opposite worked out much worse. Crawford wasn’t so bad defending point guards. The sorry part is Crawford is not only 2 inches taller than Flip, he also has Marvinesque long arms. With that kind of superior lengths he shouldn’t be so bad defending shooting guards.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
7:55 pm

10 reasons Joe Smith is what the Dr ordered.

10. Pick and Roll.
9. He plays bigger than his size.
8. The elite teams get free agents like Joe for Veteran minimum. Cleveland wanted him. Hawks haven’t signed a FA like Joe in a long time. Hopefully, this will open a flood gate in the next few years.
7. He signed for Veteran Minimum which means the league will pay most of his salary and the Hawks will pay only the portion equal to rookie-miniumum.
6. He can play defense and offense for 10-15 minutes a game at a very high level. The other team won’t make a run when two of our starting big men are in foul trouble.
5. He signed for 1 year (short contract- no consequence on future cap space)
4. Playoff tested. He was injured against the Hawks, but he was awesome against the Pistons in the 1st round.
3. His midrange shots will open up the lane for JJ/Crawford/Teague to penetrate.
2. Woody has nothing to teach him. Joe will work fine on autopilot.
1. Joe will guide Josh/Al/Zaza on how to play each player in the NBA. Their developments could make quantum big leaps playing with Joe.

ant banks

September 16th, 2009
7:56 pm

UM SEKOU,

did teague make the layup that josh smith attempted to block when he cut his hand? jus’ askin’

Samuel

September 16th, 2009
8:01 pm

Absolutely “no reason” for JJ to show up anywhere near any of these glorified pickup games. He needs all the rest he can get. I’m cring’n right now. josh….and we know how “weak” Al’s ankles are.

Cuz,

JJ comes anywhere near the gym, kidnap him for me, wouldja? Take him to prayer meeting over at Magic City.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
8:03 pm

Using Chillz’s money Sund got Zaza+ Collins+ Joe Smith + Mo Evans + Siler + (Stackhouse, I wish), and he still has money left.

Talk about management.

Samuel

September 16th, 2009
8:07 pm

Richard Jefferson dislocated his thumb yesterday in one of these “JackLeg” Tournaments.

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/09/16/spurs.jefferson.ap/index.html

Melvin

September 16th, 2009
8:23 pm

Not sure if anyone posted this but its from nba.fanhouse.com

“Need a veteran point guard? There’s still plenty to choose from in free agency.

The list, though, did get shorter with the news that Mike Wilks will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Atlanta Hawks.

“I think he’s got a decent shot to make the team,” Wilks’ agent, Bill Neff told FanHouse on Wednesday. “They don’t have a lot of guards.”

Wilks missed all of last season due to a torn ACL. But Neff said he’s now fine.”

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
8:26 pm

Mike Wilks is only 5-10, 185 lb. We don’t need another small point guard. We need a big defensive point guard who can guard the shooting guards, because Crawford can’t guard shooting guards well.

niremetal

September 16th, 2009
8:29 pm

Simmer down, fellas. This isn’t the regular season. It’s not even the pre-season. It’s not even training camp, folks. This invitational is like the pre-pre-pre-season. At these things, stars can look mortal and scrubs can look like stars. Siler is a guy with something to prove. You expect him to work hard in training camp. You really think Bynum was giving 100% effort? He has his contract. The most important thing to him should be staying in shape and not getting injured (Smoove, you taking notes? j/k…gotta love any guy with a contract who gets after it in the pre-pre-pre-season) That’s the way it always works during these late summer things.

Anyone who thinks that Stackhouse would lead the team in blocks or steals over the course of a full season is kidding themselves (although he’d be a very nice pick-up). And Siler holding his ground Bynum (a lazy player even during the regular season) at this time of year means very little. Somehow, I doubt 30 NBA teams would have let a guy like that slip through their fingers. But he would be a nice pickup too. And that would take our roster to 14 players, and no smart NBA team with an eye on a deep playoff run fills all 15 roster spots before the season even starts, so signing those two would mean that would have to tell ‘Rio and Hunter and Wilks and Robinson and everyone else without a contract to go home.

So yeah…let’s please keep it in perspective. This is the pre-pre-pre-season. At least wait until two of those “pres” are gone before we start clamoring for players to get signed.

ant banks

September 16th, 2009
8:36 pm

NIRE,

thanks for calmin’ me down!!! i was about to go off!!!

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
8:44 pm

Nire – nobody said Stackhouse would lead the league in block and steals.

The fact that Bynum didn’t annihilate Siler in his sleep is reason to think that Siler may not be a stiff.

Everybody knows its pre-pre-pre-pre-pre season. Should we not be excited when we see our young players have picked up some new skills?

mred1943

September 16th, 2009
8:45 pm

sekou
have the hawks made a training camp roster yet

dap01

September 16th, 2009
8:56 pm

I am liking what I am hearing out of the Hawks camp.

DrewCat

September 16th, 2009
9:09 pm

Signing Stackhouse would be perfect for our roster! If I were Rick Sund this one would be a no brainer.
Here’s why:

-He will probably be willing to accept the veteran’s minimum. As the Hawks will continue to snatch up quality veterans for bargain tags.

-His skill sets complement our bench perfectly. He can shoot the mid-range, do a little post up, and hit the occasional 3 ball. He would be great in a rotation with Marv and Mo for that swingman position.

-The guy has played in big games and been on teams that have made deep playoff runs. Experience is the best teacher, and Stack’s veteran savvy would do us wonders in the playoffs. Remember the countless undisciplined lapses in the playoffs–Mike Bibby’s meltdown at the end of the half against the Heat? PRIME EXAMPLE.

Sund sign Stack, and bring Othello Hunter back and we will have a deep team with veteran leadership. These are the steps necessary to maintain separation from the Chicagos, Torontos, and Washingtons of the NBA.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
9:15 pm

If Stackhouse clicks, we could beat anybody. For road games, Stackhouse’s experience would be invaluable.

Go get him Sund.

We need to give Sund a contract extension after this amazing off-season.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
9:18 pm

The truth is we are still a very bad road team. We need all the veteran help to overcome this. Since Stackhouse has a home here, he would take less to play for Atlanta. He has the perfect role for this team. Just like Joe Smith.

Sund will be the executive of the year if he could extend Joe Johnson and sign Stackhouse for veteran minimum.

Not much to lose for the owners. NBA would pay most of Stackhouse’s salary – just like Joe Smith and Collins’ salary.

Mystikal

September 16th, 2009
9:18 pm

Anyway, must say i’m surpised to hear Siler’s holding his own against Bynum. Goes to show, ya can’t teach size. Don’t get me wrong, Dwight and Shaq would take his lunch money before he knew what hit him. Even against them though, for 5 or 10 min/gm he can through that weight on em. Plus, there are only 5 to 8 legit centers left in the league, and he’s still a young up and comer getting better. If hawks found in their own back yard what 30 other teams missed out on, so be it. If he amounts to nothing, no big loss. It’s a win-win situation to try him out. Talking about down the road of course. He won’t see the light of a court this year. He keeps making good impressions and I doubt his conditioning is where it needs to be, but if he keeps putting in work…

DrewCat

September 16th, 2009
9:19 pm

OH yea i’m omitting one major detail: WOODY MUST USE HIS BENCH. As we’ve said time and time again on this blog, this is THE year for Mike Woodson. Of course winning cures all, but if woody manages his bench and develops Teague, I think Sund will have no choice but to extend his contract.
I just hope there are enough minutes to go around for ZaZa, Joe Smith, Collins, and whoever else we fill the roster with. RandMo is an afterthought in my opinion, but I do think bringing back Hunter would fill out the rotation rather nicely.

Sekou Smith

September 16th, 2009
9:20 pm

Ha. These pickup games aren’t really an official invitational folks, they’ve been nicknamed the John “Beans” Beckett Invitational (by me) in honor of Beans Beckett, the Hawks’ assistant video guru/dude in charge of the gym in the offseason. So when I see someone refer to it like it’s something official, I can’t help but crack up.

Layup didn’t go in ant. But no one really cared. Just sayin’

Sekou Smith

September 16th, 2009
9:22 pm

Training camp roster has not been finalized yet.

Melvin

September 16th, 2009
9:23 pm

Sekou,

Any truth to the Mike Wilks signing?

Mystikal

September 16th, 2009
9:24 pm

Sure it’s not in the cards, but I’d love to see hawks add Stackhouse in the fold. Really I’d love to see the vets (Bibby,JJ,Stack,Joe,Collins)scrimmage against the younger guys (Teague,Crawford,Marv,Josh,Al). Obviously, I don’t want anyone to get hurt but be very interested to see what happens and who prevails. Vets would probably take it (JJ) but be interesting to see the oncourt lesson being taught in the process.

Hoops

September 16th, 2009
9:39 pm

We have 12 players under contract right now. There seems to be a lot of interest in Siler and Stackhouse as #13 and #14. This looks like a good roster to me:

PG-Bibby, Teague
SG-JJ, Crawford, Evans
SF-Marvin, Stackhouse
PF-Josh, Joe S, Morris
C-Horford, Zaza, Collins, Siler

PDubATL

September 16th, 2009
9:40 pm

I would love to sign Stack (a much better SF backup than Gerald Green IMO)at 13 and Siler at 14 and call it a day. We literally would be “stack”ed from 1 to 5 with young athletes and veteran journeymen. I don’t see much of a need for Mike Wilks with Bibby, Teague and Crawford all being able to cover PG. Save the 15th spot for a potential midseason trade.

niremetal

September 16th, 2009
9:43 pm

Pdub,

Stack might be better than Gerald Green. But he isn’t better than Gerald Green ($800k!!!!!!).

doc

September 16th, 2009
9:59 pm

feel a rant coming

sorry nire to bring this into the equation but it is what jerry linked to us earlier:

20. Hawks: Put Al Horford, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and Mike Bibby next to LeBron or Wade and they probably go 16-5 to cruise to the ‘09 NBA Championship, but with Joe Johnson they struggle to win in the mid-40s and are a 2nd round exit team. As good as Johnson undoubtedly is, he is not nearly good enough to be the best team on a championship team and his decision to leave Phoenix probably cost everyone there a ring (not blaming him, just saying).

i imagine he meant to say best player on a championship team.

PDubATL

September 16th, 2009
10:04 pm

Doc, that’s just typical Hawks haterade. Sooner or later they’re going to wake up and realize our players are legit. Knight and Sund have pieced together a solid squad – all we need is the right coach with the right game plan to take us to the next level.

HawksV

September 16th, 2009
10:11 pm

Sekou…any update on Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby??? Those two are our leaders and I have not heard a word this summer on how they have improved and/or developed!

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
10:15 pm

For 800G, Stackhouse, if stays healthy, will be one of the biggest bergain in the entire NBA.

1. He is a huge upgrade over Mo Evans.
2. He can get JJ a lot of rest.
3. He can cover for JJ/Marvin if any of them is injured.
4. He is a playoff tested and more importantly road tested veteran who could catapult us into the next level – road winner.
5. He plays offense and defense.
6. He won’t be a chemistry problem
7. He can help Marvin grow (NC connection=trust).

Sekou Smith

September 16th, 2009
10:20 pm

Mike Wilks will be here tomorrow Melvin. But he’s just coming to training camp man. He’s coming on a non-guaranteed deal, just like all the other training camp invitees.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
10:22 pm

does mario west have a non-guaranteed offer?

niremetal

September 16th, 2009
10:23 pm

Doc,

All you have to do is see that he placed the Warriors, Sixers, Wizards, Nets, Raptors, Knicks, and Heat ahead of the Hawks and that he ranked the Thunder four spots ahead of the Nuggets in order to figure out that his opinion is worth about as much as a diet plan to Dennis Scott. Just sayin.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
10:24 pm

If Mike Wilks was a big guard I’d say he has a shot at making this team. At 5-10, he is redundant. We could use a big 3rd string point guard though.

jerrywest

September 16th, 2009
10:28 pm

That article ignored our organic growth or trade growth.

The writer assumed, a bad team has a great chance of picking up a superstar through lottery, and thus has a chance to make it big within 5 years. A team in the middle, with no cap space, has a future that is bleak.