Nets at Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith’s knee still ailing
Smoove says he has a new plan for his knee pain and his game.
The right knee is still sore. He sprained it against the Nuggets on Feb. 28 after he’d tweaked it earlier in the season.
“It gets sore as I play on it,” Smith said. “That day off after that back-to-back was big for me. I needed the rest. It’s probably not going to be 100 percent at this point. I will just get it treated as much as I can and rest it when I can.”
Smith said his father, Pete, told him a few games back to try running on his toes. He resisted at first because he’s more comfortable running heel-toe but finally relented at Philly and said it helped alleviate some of the pain.
Even with the bum knee, Smoove said he plans to continue to play closer to the basket like he did at Philly.
“I’m trying to drive the ball a little bit more,” he said. “I think it’s a positive for the team and a positive for my game. I can’t think about [the knee]. It makes me play worse. I’ve got to go out there and try to play the way I’m capable.”
- “Regular” lineup tonight: Hinrich, J.J., Marvin, Josh and Al.
- Deron Williams (wrist) shot baskets before the game but is out for the Nets.
- L.D. said the seven-man rotation he used at Philly won’t be the norm: “I was looking at matchups, looking at the rhythm of the game. As we wind down these last 10 a lot of it will depend on the matchups and how the game is going. If I feel we need to kind of speed the game up, I’ll be playing Jeff Teague more. I am definitely going to get him in tonight playing against Farmar and [Uzoh]. But a lot depends on matchups.”
- Al on the increased minutes for the starters: “We have to do it as a team. We can’t do it with five, six guys. We have to rely on our other guys. They have to be ready to come in and play.”
- Hawks players were a very loose group in the locker room before the game tonight. Same thing at practice yesterday. “You have got to give a lot of credit to coach,” Marvin said. “Coach is not a big downer. I think when you are a head coach that comes in with an upbeat, positive attitude and things are kind of shaky it really does help your confidence as a player. He has come in with a great attitude and it is really rubbing off on us players.”
- Marvin on his increased production lately: “My shot has been so up-and-down all year. I guess I am going through a stretch where I am making shots, thankfully. I have just got to continue to stay aggressive, get to the free-throw line and I guess that has helped me stay in a little rhythm lately. “
- The Nets are awful on offense but not half bad on defense. They are an average offensive rebounding team which is good enough to give the Hawks problems.
- “New Jersey is going to be a brutal game,” L.D. said. “That team has not thrown the towel in. They are playing hard. They’ve got big guys who play physical, they have got guys who can shoot it. It’s going to be a war. We have to bring our hardhat and our tool box. We have to roll our sleeves up. That’s just the kind of game it’s going to be.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat