Johnson back in lineup for Friday

Hawks guard Joe Johnson will return to the lineup Friday night after missing the past three games with a sprained right thumb.

Johnson practiced with the team Friday morning at the team’s shootaround at Philips Arena in preparation for the game against Toronto. His thumb was heavily taped.

“It’s alright,” Johnson said of his thumb, which he injured last week in the team’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers. “It’s not where I really want it to be. It’s still sore, but that soreness is going to be there for quite some time. Just trying to help the team reach one of our goals, that’s trying to solidify the third spot.”

With four games remaining, the Hawks are tied with Boston for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference at 49-29. The Hawks need to finish ahead of the Celtics in order to take the third spot, as Boston owns the tiebreaker by virtue of being a division champion.

Without Johnson in the lineup, the Hawks went 1-2, beating Detroit last Saturday to run their home winning streak to 10, but then losing to Charlotte Tuesday and Detroit Wednesday, which ran their road losing streak to six games.

Coach Mike Woodson also said that backup center Jason Collins will miss the remainder of the regular season as a result of a foot injury sustained before Wednesday’s game at Detroit.

317 comments Add your comment

G-Money

April 9th, 2010
12:13 pm

They really need to play better going into the playoffs.

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
12:17 pm

I hope JJ stays healthy and does not reaggravate the thumb. If the thumb is not fully healed, he needs to continue to rest it. because whats the point of getting the third seed is JJ’s thumb is still sore for the playoffs?

Plus after seeing what happened to Bogut and Bosh, I can’t help but be a little concerned.

NUNNA YO BIZNEZZ

April 9th, 2010
12:24 pm

Whoop dee doop dee doo!!!!
more iso joe,more standing around,yaaaaaaaa!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 9th, 2010
12:27 pm

It’s too bad the Hawks played like absolute sh-t the last two games… he probably wouldn’t have felt pressure to rush back otherwise. Hope this move doesn’t backfire.

Bosh-less Raptors tonight. Let’s see if the Hawks can put them away early and give Joe some rest, like a legit playoff team should.

i_am_soulstar

April 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

What happened to the Swaggerrific Hawks from the beginning of the season? That’s the team I want going into the playoffs, not this uninspired bunch.

And Joe Johnson, with all due respect, if you’re not 100%, please go sit down somewhere. We need you healthy for the playoffs. If you re-injure that thumb and can’t contribute come playoff time, who’s gonna cry himself to sleep at night? I am, I am.

NUNNA YO BIZNEZZ

April 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

I hope that joe heals fast enough before the playoffs..
I wish the hawks success in the playoffs and i hope we get much further than round 1..
And,i hope the 4th qtr.meltdowns,the standing around with no movement,and the non-adjustments from woody and the coaching staff during the game,are all a thing of the past when the playoffs start..

Lets make this brand new start tonght..

Go Hawks!!

kuzg

April 9th, 2010
12:49 pm

collins out for rest of season – must have tripped going to the restroom

VenomSpitter

April 9th, 2010
12:49 pm

Man if u think those 4th qtr chokes are a thing of the past u ain’t seen nothin yet. If it hasn’t happened after 70 somethin games. IT AIN’T HAPPENING.

terrell

April 9th, 2010
1:00 pm

Might as well lose out. Dont want no part of Wade and the refs in the 1st rd. Problem is, without Bogut, we probably think we can just show up and win a series vs the Bucks.

terrell

April 9th, 2010
1:03 pm

Just like Woody. His personal goals ahead of whats best for the team. Who cares if we get the 3rd or the 4th seed? Who cares if Jamal wins the 6th man of the year? Who cares if JJ makes the All-Star team? None of that stuff matters if we’re 1 and done. Fool!

terrell

April 9th, 2010
1:07 pm

Collins has “fallen and he cant get up”. lol!

cp

April 9th, 2010
1:09 pm

I cant lie, I prefer that Joe just rest. We cant afford him to hurt it more and him not be 100% for the playoffs. We saw what happened with a hurt Joe last year and I dont want to see a repeat. Im with terrell on this one, forget these damn goals I want everyone healthy for the playoffs. Whats the purpose of these so called goals if guys are hurt and we dont fair any better than last year? The first signs of him having trouble with that thumb I hope Woody is smart enough to sit him but knowing Woodrow he will play him 40.

Astro Joe

April 9th, 2010
1:12 pm

Yeah, I noticed that the curbs at Hardee’s are a little higher than most fast food joints… Collins must have come down too hard after purchasing those 3 Monster cheeseburgers on his way to dinner the other night.

Tell him to rub some mayo on the knee.

Astro Joe

April 9th, 2010
1:21 pm

There’s another angle to the “should Joe play” question. I brought this up a few days ago when MC reported that Joe was “frustrated” by his injury. If his thumb is so badly hurt that it CAN’T heal by the playoffs (which is my theory), then he needs to learn how to best “deal with it”. What type of tape will be best, will a splint help, how does it affect certain shot atempts, etc. Some injuries simply won’t heal in 7-10 days, even if it’s in bubble wrap 24 hours a day So the question may be does he risk further injury by testing it out now.

victor

April 9th, 2010
1:22 pm

I would prefer Joe staying out a little longer to let his thumb rest as well as his body so he will be back stronger and fresher for the playoffs.The concern with that is he will need at least a couple of games to get back up to game speed if he sits out too long. So if he missed the next two games it would not hurt the team because it really doesn’t matter wether we are a 3 or 4 seed. We still only have home court advantage for the first round.

terrell

April 9th, 2010
1:27 pm

Let the Celtics worry about DWade and the refs. They can have the 3 seed. Just dont take a nap because you ‘re playing Milwaukee – Bogut.

JeJe

April 9th, 2010
1:34 pm

LOL HAWKS CANT BEAT INFERIOR TEAMS

FIRE WOODY

Dante Fitzgerald

April 9th, 2010
1:51 pm

Jason Collins? Who?

WHAT ITS WORTH

April 9th, 2010
2:10 pm

I am really concerned that the way the hawks are playing they might not make it out of the first round , I fear they will back into the four seed and the heat will take them out. I really dont see any hope of getting out of the second round they cannot win on the road even against inferior teams.

northcyde

April 9th, 2010
2:27 pm

Bad losses > Good wins

Always the case with this group.

Grandad

April 9th, 2010
2:37 pm

DawgNole:

Look – lets start over.
Water under the damn & over the bridge.
If you want to keep it up fine.
If not, then I’m offering the olive branch.
Trust me, that’s not my nature.
But, in reality, Im a real nice fella.
As for the young man the other night,
I recognized his frustration and quite
frakly I’ve had years of experience
working with young people & helping them
through rough patches. The Bible verses
were meant for inspiration.
Even though I’m a natural ‘jackass’
I’ve been married to a good woman for over
four decades and she has worked hard to
make me a better person.
Now, let’s shake hands.
Go Dawgs!

HawksFan11

April 9th, 2010
2:39 pm

Let’s talk leadership.

Does a team only need it’s leader on the floor scoring? It’s been said on this blog that the responsibility for motivating this team on the road falls to Joe Johnson as the team Captain. That’s kinda hard to do if he doesn’t even make the trip. Could they have used a little pep talk from their leader? Maybe the leader could spot something from the sidelines and point it out to the coach.

Joe not making the road trip just smacks of an “all about me” attitude. Leaders lead their teams on and off the court, injured or healthy. Real team leaders with a true sense of team spirit even play through nagging injuries this time of year. Now I don’t know the extent of Joe’s injury, so I’ll defer to him on that, but staying home from a critical raod trip to rest a sore thumb is not what I call leadership.

HawksFan11

April 9th, 2010
2:44 pm

Truth-Serum

April 9th, 2010
1:54 pm

“Bottom line, I hope we are healthy and give it our very best. Its been and remarkable and outstanding year.

Congrats to Coach Woodson and the Atlanta Hawks. Good job guys.”

Good close on that post Truth, it has been a good season and the entire team has much to be proud of. I’ve watched all but 2 games from section 119 and there’s never been a dull moment. Let me add my congratulations to Coach Woodson and the Atlanta Hawks.

Mike is Back

April 9th, 2010
2:46 pm

Astro Joe, Very funny on the Collins hit…he was always one of your favorites. lol

Interesting take on JJ’S injury…I hope that that is JJ reasoning for wanting to return. I’m not surprise by his decision…he has been a saltwort since he came to the ATL…no way he is going to sit on the sidelines and watch his team fall apart. I think his present will help to lift the guys spirit, and pull them out of there doldrums. Maybe JJ’s detractors finally understand how much he means to this team…I know his teammate does.

All this adversity is a good dose of reality for the team that was hoping to challenge for the ECP. I doubt if we will see the Hawks take their first round opponents lightly…and that is a under statement. I think everyone realizes it will be an uphill climb in the playoff…no matter who the opponent is.

GO JJ, AND GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UGA

April 9th, 2010
2:57 pm

Well, it’s dumb to complain about winning around 50 games (I mean that loss Boston had to the Knicks was just as bad as us losing to the Pistons. They could not guard Earl Barron!)

The 2 games at Detroit, at Golden State and the Knicks game at home on New Years stick out to me as horrible losses. I just wonder what our coaches want. We want no part of Miami, none. They are beating the teams we can’t right now and may not lose for awhile.

I think we just need to hope for the best and look at trading a core piece of this team or adding to it. For example, get a dependable back up point and PF. We sure don’t look like we’re playing Teague or Smith much.

UGA

April 9th, 2010
2:59 pm

One more thing, Joe is not Kobe or Wade. But we better give him the money he wants to keep him. These past few games have been less than humorous.

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
3:04 pm

I know that in football, players and coaches try to hide injuries, because opposing players will try to take a shot at wherever the injury might be.

If you’re the Bucks (who will be w/o Bogut) or Cavs, and you’re defending JJ, do you take extra hard swipes at his hand when he has the ball?

Worse case, they call a foul. Best case, you steal the ball and maybe aggravate his thumb. After all, Milwaukee could be our first round opponent, and Cleveland could be our second round opponent.

northcyde

April 9th, 2010
3:07 pm

Let’s talk leadership.

Does a team only need it’s leader on the floor scoring? It’s been said on this blog that the responsibility for motivating this team on the road falls to Joe Johnson as the team Captain. That’s kinda hard to do if he doesn’t even make the trip. Could they have used a little pep talk from their leader? Maybe the leader could spot something from the sidelines and point it out to the coach.

Joe not making the road trip just smacks of an “all about me” attitude. Leaders lead their teams on and off the court, injured or healthy. Real team leaders with a true sense of team spirit even play through nagging injuries this time of year. Now I don’t know the extent of Joe’s injury, so I’ll defer to him on that, but staying home from a critical raod trip to rest a sore thumb is not what I call leadership.

****************

This is how I know some of ya’ll don’t watch the NBA. There are a TON of guys who don’t make road trips with the team when they’re hurt. But you guys always want to act like the Hawks are the exception to every rule in the NBA.

But we all know what you’re about HawksFan11. You simply don’t like JJ, regardless of what he does. So anything people like you can spin negative on the dude, you’ll do just that.

LOL @ critical road trip. Woody said that if we actually NEEDED JJ to play, that he could’ve played in the Detroit game. But we can’t beat Detroit without JJ’s presence? Especially when they were missing all of their star players?

GTFOH

DawgNole

April 9th, 2010
3:21 pm

If you’re offering the olive branch and the handshake, Grandad, then I’m accepting.

The young man the other night made it clear–albeit not very politely or tactfully–that he didn’t care for your inspiration. That should’ve ended it. I seldom contribute to blogs, but the irony of his anger and disdain toward your repeated attempts to calm him vs. the uncanny accuracy of his simplistic assessment of the Hawks, intrigued me enough to comment. And off we went. But as you said, it’s “water under the damn [sic] & over the bridge.”

I stand by my contention that the Hawks AGAIN will not make it past the second round this year–if they even get that far (a long shot in and of itself). I believe that a big reason for their repeated failures over 40-plus years in Atlanta is the traditon the team (and all Atlanta pro teams) have built of accepting/rationalizing the achievement of less than a championship–year after year after year for almost half a century now. But first things first: let’s see how they perform against a crippled Raptors bunch tonight–and how the Braves bounce back from their first loss.

You mentioned Hamilton at FSU. Sadly the Noles’ basketball program is similar to that of Atlanta pro teams–satisfied with being less than the best. Same with the FSU baseball team, which always shines during the regular season–and NEVER reaches the ultimate goal (an NCAA championship). Can’t win it all if you accept falling short year after year–and never make the changes required to win it all.

Yes, Go Dawgs–and Noles, Hawks, Falcons, and Braves!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 9th, 2010
3:23 pm

Now the New York media seems to be resigning themselves to Joe not going to NY and making excuses as to why he will stay here.

First it was “LeBron coming to NY is a certainty”, then it was “even if we don’t get LeBron we can still get Wade”, then it was “even if we can’t get Wade we can still get Joe”, and now they seem to be admitting that Joe leaving here to go to that cesspool is unlikely.

Interesting reasoning they provide though. Apparently Joe won’t want to leave here because he never gets criticized. If that’s really the reason he stays, northcyde should ask him to give him a cut.

I am going to laugh when the Knicks give Rudy Gay and Carlos Boozer max contracts this offseason.

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
3:36 pm

northcyde,

Its not just the NBA. Other sports do it too. Tim Hudson went to San Francisco early, so he missed the Braves game against the Cubs last night. Does that mean he can’t be a leader?

Same thing in the NFL. If a guy is hurt, sometimes they stay home and get treatment, sleep in their own beds, and relax.

HawksFan 11,

What’s more important? Travelling with the team, or staying home and getting treatment/rest and recovery to try to speed up the injury process?

Najeh,

I think the Knicks will be in a situation like the Pistons were. Have money to spend, but nobody wants it. The Pistons signed Ben Gordon and Charlie V.

I think the Knicks will get Stoudemire (D’Antoni’s system) instead of Boozer.

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
3:37 pm

Should be …”speed up the recovery process”

Benjamin

April 9th, 2010
3:44 pm

The real question is this:

What are we going to do without Jason Collins?

Clyde

April 9th, 2010
3:48 pm

Save JJ for the playoffs

FIRE WOODY

Grandad

April 9th, 2010
3:56 pm

Now see there DawgNole, I’m glad you accept. One last thing about the other nite, ea. time I posted, I toned down my rhetoric, & he, seemed to as well. Who knows…, he needed to vent, regardless. I hope he feels better today.

Hawks – I agree, with one exception:
*If you read my stuff – you know of my lack of confidence in Wdsn.
Therefore a 1st round elimination is not out of the question.

Early Hawks were ‘good’ just not great.
Should have been great. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, I know.
The [Dr.J] thing was orchestrated against us.
The David Thompson, Marvin Webster thing ???
Too many ??????? marks for it to be chalked up to:
*bad ownership
*bad sports town
*jinxed
Joe Caldwell(ABA),Doc,Pistol,Thompson,trading Nique,
Cleve. gets LbJ yet D.Howard goes south???.
[yes I'm saying the NBA fixes the lottery]*Ewing/frozen envelope.
Maybe we are jinxed for trading the draft rights to Bill Russell!
Kinda like The Red Sox & the curse of the ‘Bambino’ reversed.

No the ATL. Hawks have never been great but they have been ‘good’.

Go: Dawgs/Hawks/Braves/Falcons/an unnamed D-III B-ball squad/
my Grandson’s little league team/ & Rowdy Roddy Piper.

JeJe

April 9th, 2010
4:03 pm

We all know what will happen tonight:

Hawks will win a close one (don’t forget — this team can’t have any “Easy” wins anymore), and Woodson will gloat how 50 wins is such a milestone for this franchise, not mentioning that we just lost to the freaking Pistons who were without their 3 best players or that his former boss (Larry Brown) owns him

newkid

April 9th, 2010
4:04 pm

Thanks for sharing Najeh. With the recent news of dwindling 09/10 basketball related income (BRI), a high draft choice, and a few pieces to use in SNT’s, the near-term outlook for Nets is closer to clear skies than the outlook over Manhattan. Could see Amar’e, John Wall (or Evan Turner), the Lopez kid, and a prettty decent supporting cast in New Jersey to start the move to Brooklyn in a couple years.

HawksFan11

April 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

OB,

What’s most important to me is what I stated, true team leadership. This is just another example of Joe Johnson not providing it (Vocal, emotional, playmaking for others). I don’t really care what Northcyde thinks he knows (above anyone else) about basketball and human nature and “what woody is thinking” for that matter. I didn’t compare Joe to anyone else, I said what I said and that speaks for itsself. I guess moral support is more important to some than others.

Northcyde

You know nothing about what I’m about sir. I like Joe just fine, I, like he, just see him for what he is and what he is not. He’s a great scorer and nothing more. Period. If you came to a few more games you might see some of the intagibles that don’t show up on the stat sheets. Numbers alone don’t always tell the whole story, at least not for me pal.

Clyde

April 9th, 2010
4:17 pm

Freaknik is coming back. I won’t be going but its time to pull out the old videos.

FIRE WOODY

GeeMack

April 9th, 2010
4:54 pm

The league would much rather see a Miami vs. Cle. 2nd rd, than a Hawks vs Cle 2nd rd.

Miami will at least fight. It seems the Hawks are intimidated by the Cavs.

Clyde

April 9th, 2010
4:59 pm

smh

FIRE WOODY

Delbert D.

April 9th, 2010
5:05 pm

Hold JJ out while Bosh isn’t gonna play.

i_am_soulstar

April 9th, 2010
5:14 pm

The Hawks and Woody had a great relationship, but it’s time to let go.

Jeff Van Gundy would be great for the Hawks.

But on the other side, they shouldn’t get rid of Woody unless we can get a proven NBA coach, none of that college coach/assistant coach crap.

I really wish we had a shot at D’Antoni. He’d be great for the Hawks’ style.

SWAT Native

April 9th, 2010
5:35 pm

GeeMack

April 9th, 2010
4:54 pm
The league would much rather see a Miami vs. Cle. 2nd rd, than a Hawks vs Cle 2nd rd.

GeeMack,

A lot of people said the same thing last year.

northcyde

April 9th, 2010
5:39 pm

HawksFan11 . . . save all of that man.

The few times you have posted on here, I haven’t seen you post not one positive word about Joe Johnson. You have to excuse my loyalty to the guy who helped bring us out of the depths of NBA Hell, by coming here in the first place.

JJ has shot horribly, for the most part, since March 1st. But if he was about “me”, his assist numbers wouldn’t be UP during that bad shooting stretch, and he’d be taking more shots . . not less.

No way I’m questioning that guy’s leadership, just because he isn’t a rah-rah guy or because he doesn’t travel to a game that we should’ve won with our eyes closed. Some leaders simply lead by what they do out on the court.

Give me a guy that goes out and just DOES IT . . . instead of a guy who just TALKS ABOUT IT.

LOL @ calling that dude selfish, when he is single handedly almost keeping Mike Bibby’s career alive, by passing the ball to him for open 3 pointers. All JJ does, is go out and do his job on a nightly basis. But because he isn’t vocal or flashy enough, he gets talked about more than praised.

I’m sorry sir . . . I’ll speak up for the captain on this board every time somebody tries to label him something that he isn’t. If the the dude was truly selfish, and all about “me”, he’d never pass the ball to Smoove when running a fast break, and especially in the half court offense for a 19 foot jumper.

DawgNole

April 9th, 2010
5:58 pm

OK, Grandad, a truce. Hope it lasts. Wasn’t sure about your “one exception” to my Hawks assessment. You said, “Therefore a 1st round elimination is not out of the question.” I don’t believe we’ve had any differences there; I couldn’t agree more–especially the way they’re playing in April.

The Hawks may have had “good” teams in the past–depending on your definition of “good”–but good’s not good enough to win it all, and there will NEVER be a legitimate excuse in my mind for 40-plus years of NOT EVEN ONCE getting past the second round of the playoffs, a record of futility matched by very few. No excuse whatsoever!

As far as Anthony, he likely toned it down out of boredom with the dialogue, or perhaps the late-night hour, or maybe a touch of ADD. He’s been scarce to nonexistent on here since then. We’ll see if he reappears after tonight’s game.

bigdave

April 9th, 2010
6:26 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

April 9th, 2010
6:42 pm

“The league would much rather see a Miami vs. Cle. 2nd rd, than a Hawks vs Cle 2nd rd. ”

The league would have much rather not seen boring, small-market Tim Duncan and the Spurs win 4 championships.

Yes, NBA refs are incompetent, but people who think the NBA is fixed are not in touch with reality.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 9th, 2010
6:43 pm

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Cavs may shut down LeBron for the rest of the regular season.

This would be a HUGE gift to the Hawks, who close the season at home against Cleveland. That could be the win that gives them the #3 seed.

Grandad

April 9th, 2010
6:54 pm

DawgNole – Thought you were predicting 2nd round.
Good/great…no need mincing words.
Champs = great to me.
Good = competitive.
Once again, different coach, let Teague on the floor,
get Al a [sidekick] role playing, [b.a.]*, def. minded,
goal tending, D.Howard guarding, tough as nails, back-up.
*[Rodman,Artest,Oakley,Reggie Evans,Harvey Dahl, esque, enforcer]
With a “Bad Boys” mean streak that puts LbJ et al on their
collective hiney when they come free ranging down our lane.
Wait, did I say that out loud, I must have been longing for
the good old days when you didn’t hug your adversaries after
a contest. Sorry about the ramble. Ol’ folks do that sometimes.