Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith seeks ‘clear mind’ to play with sore knee

The doctors have given Josh Smith clearance to play after he sprained his right knee on Monday. He said he believes the knee is feeling about as good as it’s going to get. He practiced with a knee brace today and said it felt OK.

So it seems the next hurdle for Smith is a mental one.

“It’s cool,” he said. “Obviously I am thinking about it and being more cautious. I’ve got to play with a clear mind. If I think about re-injuring it I probably will.”

The brace has metal frame with hinges and a cloth covering. It isn’t too bulky, though Smith joked: “Looks robotic.”

Smith said he was able to make cuts during today’s light practice session.

“It feels good,” Smith said. “I’ve just got to get [accustomed] to that brace. For the most part it felt all right. I think at this point it is going to be what it is. I’m just going to get treatment as much as possible and try to go tomorrow.”

Smith’s return would help boost Atlanta’s interior defense, which was lacking in their 111-104 loss to the Thunder last night. The Hawks allowed 54 points in the paint.

“He’s definitely an anchor back there,” Larry Drew said of Smith. “But we are also going to have to have a total commitment from everybody else to playing with more of a physicality. I thought the Oklahoma team out-toughed us. They ‘grinded’ it out down low, they got after a lot of loose balls, they got some offensive rebounds, they drove it. We are going to have to more of a presence in that paint area, with or without Smoove.”

The soft interior D was a focus of Atlanta’s video session today. Drew said Atlanta’s troubles containing Russell Westbrook and James Harden on the perimeter were just part of the problem.

“We allowed [penetration] and they got all the way to the rim,” he said. “There was no real resistance once they broke us down. We didn’t give any hard fouls, we didn’t step up and take charges. We just had no real physical presence after we were broken down.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

102 comments Add your comment

initial J

March 5th, 2011
5:11 pm

Good to have Robo-Smoove back

Show me state

March 5th, 2011
5:14 pm

Looking forward to having u back J-Smoove….

SB75

March 5th, 2011
5:18 pm

First post in a while, good to get Smith back.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
5:19 pm

Come back healthy Smoove! Your great and we need you.

D was soft. Jamal still needs to pick it up outside on D.

Good play by Etan

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
5:23 pm

And for the record – Josh Powell was terrible, ZaZa pretty bad, Marvin almost invisible, and JJ’s jumper is still missing in action.

And Hinrich/Teague showed while they’re a vast upgrade over Bibby, they just brought us to above average on D at the Point, and average at best on the offensive end. Still not elite at the Point by any stretch of the imagination.

I say give Hilton a shot and play Etan more. Could it hurt over Powell and most times ZaZa?

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
5:24 pm

Thunder sure looked good with Nazr down low. They will be no fun to play when Perkins is healthy. And they got Nate also? Man, they are going to be beasting it.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
5:26 pm

I think with Nazr and Perkins, the Thunder just became championship material. And Nate won’t hurt either.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
5:30 pm

And if Billups is here, he probably plays. NY goes from good to dangerous with Billups playing.

superiorblogman

March 5th, 2011
5:36 pm

Why play against the lessor team, the Knicks and not against the better team, Durant? The Hawks have there heads all wrong. The Knicks are not a rivalry game. It is disappointing that the Hawks are trying to make them out to be one. They should be looking at Orlando who beat them to the ground as a rival, or Boston who inducted them into the playoffs as a rival, or the Thunder who they have not beat in 2 years as a rival. The Hawks mentality sucks from the front office to the players. Josh should sit out until healthy, if they are anything close to elite they should beat the Knicks without him.

UGA

March 5th, 2011
5:45 pm

Draft question:

Does anyone know when we get the Houston pick for David Andersen?
Did we get a pick from OK or NJ with the Jordan Crawford ?

terrell

March 5th, 2011
5:46 pm

Welcome back Josh.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
5:53 pm

UGA – 2012 from Houston, top 40 protected. Which means if it is 40 or lower we don’t get it.

And we also have the Suns pick for Childress this season.

And no, we didn’t get a pick for JC2

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
6:02 pm

Hawks are only 4 up on the Knicks in the loss column, and 5 on the Sixers. The Sixers are only 1/2 game back of the Knicks for the 6th seed.

Chicago is now ahead of the Heat for the 2nd seed in the East.

Orlando only has 7 more home games left, 12 on the road.

ATL has 13 home and 7 road games left.

Boston has 9 home games remaining and 13 road games.

Both Boston and Chicago have to play 2 more games left on the schedule than the Hawks as does NY, so ATL should get more rest than those teams between now and playoff time.

Team to watch is the Sixers. Only 5.5 back of the Hawks, above .500, and have a better point differential and record last 10 games than either the Knicks or the Hawks. Doug Collins is doing a good job there.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
6:04 pm

UGA – ASG got 3 mill. in that trade, no picks. Masterful trade by Sund to get a 1st pick and 3mill. Since traded for Hinrich. Necessary trade if you ask me to get Hinrich.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
6:17 pm

They did get a pick with JC2, actually — it was the #31 pick in last year’s draft, which they promptly turned around and sold for cash to OKC, who used it on Tibor Pleiss.

UGA

March 5th, 2011
6:29 pm

Right I forgot about the Childress pick. Thanks. The kid from Morehead is a beast, but he won’t be there in the second round. So we have 2 second round picks, good deal.

UGA

March 5th, 2011
6:32 pm

The Hinrich deal looks great. When everyone has played, GS and Portland, we have looked very good. Since the trade it looks like we are playing harder in my opinion. Prior, I thought we did not play hard every game

UGA

March 5th, 2011
6:38 pm

Should the Hawks resign Jamal next year or let him walk and address other needs????

It would be nice if we could unload ZaZa and I guess Marvin to have cap space. Thing is after that Chicago game Marvin hit the big 3 and big block on Rose. The free agent class does not look great and one would have to think we can find something better than Hilton Armstrong and Josh Powell

O'Brien

March 5th, 2011
6:38 pm

I think Celtics and Bulls will finish 1-2 in the East.

I think the Hawks will finish 4th, and have homecourt against Orlando in the first round. And I think we beat Orlando to advance

steve brown

March 5th, 2011
7:10 pm

Durant sprains his ankle and doesn’t miss a game. Smith is okayed by the doctors but needs to get his mind straight. Pleeeeeease give me a break.

drmaryb (*_*)

March 5th, 2011
7:24 pm

O’Brien

You don’t think our Hawks can finish 3rd? If so, how would that be better/different than 4th. Or, does it matter if we are 3 vs 4? Who do you have in that 3 slot?

drmaryb (*_*)

March 5th, 2011
7:27 pm

Steve brown!

never mind. I’ll save my breath.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
7:44 pm

I think the Hawks finish 5th, and play Orlando tough as anything, and probably pull out that series. Especially if we’re healthy.

And after that, “it’s on”. I’m not scared of any of the top teams now that we have Hinrich, and have jettisoned Bibby/Mo.

Najeh – I meant in the end result basically – mentioned the 3 mill in the other post. OKC got one of Grandad’s favorites, Tibor Pliess with that 31st pick.

And I think we will try to re-sign Jamal. We will go in and offer him a 3 year 9 mill. dollar contract, and the opportunity to end his career with a winner. Bibby sacrificed money etc. so did the Big 3.

And then the Russian guy will come offer Jamal like 5 years at 55m., and that will be that.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t try to get Adam Morrison, Flip, Luke Jackson, TMac, Gladyr etc. to fill his spot.

Without Jamal, we only have 3G’s next season – JJ, Hinrich, and Teague. Sy is more of a 2/3. 6-7 225, has looked awful trying to be a PG. No jumpshot, but smothering D.

I say re-sign Acie and Shelden for the vet minimum, Solomon Jones also if you can get him. Ditch Powell. Maybe get Kwame if possible.

Trade Marvin for Sessions and Manny Harris if the Cavs would do it. Who knows. But it will be important next season

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
7:52 pm

Possible 2011-12:
Al
Josh
Marvin
JJ
Hinrich

Rotation Bench:
Teague
Wilkens
Solomon
ZaZa

Situational bench guys 10-13:
Acie
Sy
Collins
Kwame

If we carry a 14 and 15:
Gilder
Shelden

Not wanting a family re-union or anything. I just think Acie is a good vet min. PG and has showed it with GSW. Shelden can bang at PF, showed it with the Nuggets. Solo would a very good athletic 4/5 off the bench. Way better than Josh Powell. Kwame has held up well with the ‘Cats. And everybody like Gilder.

But don’t be surprised if we don’t get a Jackson, Morrison, McGrady if we don’t re-sign Jamal. Or even Flip. But please not Mo.

newkid

March 5th, 2011
7:53 pm

Actually the Hawks have Houston’s 2011 2nd round pick, and top 40 protected means Hawks do NOT get it if it’s between 31 & 40. Should also note that Houston’s ‘11 2nd round pick can be swapped with the Clippers’ ‘11 2nd pick. This means that if the Clippers have the 34th pick, and Houston has the 43rd pick, then the Hawks have the option of switching Houston’s 43rd for the Clippers’ 34th.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
7:53 pm

And I think Marvin’s play the rest of the year determines whether we try to trade him in the off season or not. Maybe the same for ZaZa also.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
7:55 pm

Newkid – That’s what i meant by top 40 protected. Couldn’t be 31-40.

And something tells me the Clips may be ok next season. Griffin, Bledsoe, Gordon and Co. have some talent.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
8:00 pm

The Hawks have played the fewest Home games of any team in the East to this point in the season

hawksfancents95

March 5th, 2011
8:15 pm

the hawks need to draft lucas nogueira, plz no more 6′9 pf/c’s.
I dont see the hawks taking the series against orlando unless we have homecourt,
the hawks will beat ny on sunday by 10> pts, ny is good but when al goes up against a lesser player that doesnt have legit height (turiaf) the hawks score at will in the paint, ny cant run on us even if 1/4/7 put up 75 pts together.hfc95

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
8:19 pm

The Griz have some decisions to make. They have Gasol and Zack Randoph as FA’s, and Mike Conley as a restricted FA. They’ve got Rudy Gay locked up for about 68m. over the next 4 seasons. Do you re-sign Gasol for a ton, an older Zack for a ton, and Conley for alot also, or take a different direction?

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
8:20 pm

Right now the Rockets have the 42nd pick (so it would be ATL’s) and the Clips have the 37th pick. Of course, all that will probably change.

Jae Evolution

March 5th, 2011
8:21 pm

“The Hawks have played the fewest Home games of any team in the East to this point in the season”

In a way that’s kind of a good thing.

superiorblogman

March 5th, 2011
8:22 pm

Mike Conley already re-signed stop acting like you really know what’s going on. Most of you guys just post because you can.

slimjr

March 5th, 2011
8:44 pm

The Hawk have the most difficult schedule left in the East. They will probably finish 5th or 6th which means one and done……………Orlando or Chicago will smoke them in 5 or 6 games…

Trade Marvin Last year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After 6 and 2/3 seasons we have seen enough of this buster………………..Jamal will probably walk.. It’s going to be an ugly playoff again…

prison mike

March 5th, 2011
8:49 pm

Don’t like this one tad bit. Sit him out until fully healed. Don’t need to compound an already bad injury.

O'Brien

March 5th, 2011
9:15 pm

DMB,

I think Miami finishes 3rd, Hawks 4th, and Orlando 5th. Even if Orlando finishes 4th and Hawks finish 5th, I still think we can beat them in the first round.

Steve W,

I doubt if the Hawks will offer Jamal a contract. I think what they will do is drag their feet (which is normally what Rick does), and then when NJ or Knicks or whoever offer him a contract, they will say it’s out of their price range, and they will let him walk.

As for Marvin, Hawks can try and trade him all they want. He has 3 years, $22.5 mil left. Who would take him at that salary (especially since he has missed 17 games already)?

drmaryb (*_*)

March 5th, 2011
9:29 pm

O’B!

Oh, OK. Thanks. Yeah, that’s prolly what will happen.

Hawk n the Ham

March 5th, 2011
9:52 pm

Robo-Smoove

“To Defend & Protect”

prison mike

March 5th, 2011
9:56 pm

It’s no shame of getting “optimal” production from craw and acquire pure savings in the offseason.

superiorblogman

March 5th, 2011
10:10 pm

I am getting annoyed with Al and his little emotional outbursts. Jump shooters don’t need that they need execution. Al’s success is going to his head. We will see how much fire you play with when you get down 2 games to nothing in the playoffs.

RaJaH

March 5th, 2011
10:18 pm

I thought Sund’s contract ended this season. If so, will he get extended? Are the rumors true about this new group purchasing the Hawks, Thrashers, Phillips? If so, how long does this transaction take to go down?…

south Ga boy in the ATL

March 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

It will be good to have Smoove back but he will have a load on def tomorrow if he has Amare or if we go big and put him at SF to guard Mello. I would rather wait and have him 100% healthy than for him to rush back and re-injure it further and be out for a longer time. Also, dont like the way Josh keeps talking about getting his knee better “in his mind.” He’s right in that you cant think about “not” hurting something or hurting it further” or that’s exactly what you will do. I want Smoove healthy and ready for the playoffs. I don’t think it matters one rats @$$ whether we finish 4th or 5th. The Hawks have shown, time and again, that when they get their minds right and play good team defense that they can win easily on the road, and against good teams. And if they dont get their minds right and play “all out defense” then it wont matter whether they have home court adv. or not.

SteveW

March 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

O’Brien – I was just going on Sund’s comments earlier either this week or last that once the CBA was finalized, he was going to do everything he could to re-sign Jamal. but everything you can with ASG at the top is probably not very much.

Inferior – Looking at the Sports City website for salaries, and his was not listed. Been using them instead of another one for a couple of weeks. You are correct about Mike Conley.

They still gotta re-up Gasol and Randolph.

And I think Arenas, Bibby etc. shows no contract is untradeable in the NBA. And the Cavs were actually targeting Marvin in the offseason.

Biedrins contract is a match for Marvin. But I have been totally unimpressed with Biedrins.

HawkZ

March 5th, 2011
10:57 pm

@drmaryb (*_*) , I agree : Steve Brown sit DOWN!!!!

W.R. Terrell

March 5th, 2011
11:42 pm

I just read where that “smoove” fella is going to play against New York. Here we go again, Mr Bog the offense down with holding the ball being someone he is not. Between him and ISO Joe the ball will not be moving. I will watch the game and I will root for them and hopefully they don’t play “SOFT” but with the “BOG” brothers who knows. It’s amazing that a grown man does not understand his game and that “smoove” fella has no friggin cue. I’m gonna give him one. “STAY and PLAY on the INSIDE and GIVE THE DAMN BALL TO THE GUARDS.

slimjr

March 6th, 2011
12:07 am

Sund just retire………………..

slimjr

March 6th, 2011
12:18 am

“This fanbase is an embarrassment to the nba. UNBELIAVABLE! ”

No the Bi-polar Atlanta Hawks 43 years of ineptitude is beyond embarrassing.. It’s a down right shame for the fans to have to endure this BullSh–! This is not an accident people….. It’s part of the NBA plan to keep this market out of the finals… Ratings would suck….Maybe not?? Guess we won’t find out??? Playoffs??? Really???? ………………..Yawn………………..

Grandad

March 6th, 2011
2:44 am

steve brown

have you ever injured your knee?
If not, then hold your tongue.

Mr superiorblogman

You annoy me on occasion.

r e: “getting annoyed with Al and his little emotional outbursts”

Worldwide Clyde

March 6th, 2011
3:54 am

Zaza been letting folks get to the rim ever since we got him. Yet he’s the first big man off the bench.

mykhalc

March 6th, 2011
6:07 am

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