Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.
The Hawks will be without All-Star guard Joe Johnson for tonight’s game against the Bucks. He will also miss Saturday’s game against the Thunder. Johnson returned from tendinitis in his left knee for Thursday night’s game against the Warriors. Despite scoring a team-high 18 points in 38 minutes, Johnson had trouble with the knee late in the game.
“After the Golden State game, Joe doesn’t feel like his knee is 100 percent and he did experience a little discomfort, particularly in the second half,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “We made the decision to hold him out until that knee gets stronger, until he feels like he is closer to 100 percent.”
Beyond the next two games, Drew said there was no timetable on how long the team would be without their leading scorer. He termed Johnson’s status as “day-to-day.”
“We are going to closely look at it and treat it and try to strengthen it,” Drew said. “Right now, it’s weak. He has been making progress but the knee is weak. We feel it will do him more good to where he can strengthen it to where it’s closer to 100 percent.”
Johnson missed the Hawks two games prior to the All-Star break and did not play in the exhibition in order to rest his knee. The game against the Warriors was the first game back.
“Right now the focus to get it stronger,” Drew said.
In other injury news, the Hawks will also be without Willie Green tonight and Saturday. The guard is suffering from back spasms and getting hurt against the Warriors.
Josh Smith, despite an illness, will play tonight. Vladimir Radmanovic, who missed the Warriors game with an illness, practiced Friday morning and Drew said a decision will be made of his status at game time.