Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson plans to ‘take my time’ with ailing knee

Joe Johnson plans to ease his way back into the lineup because of his troublesome left knee. Obviously it’s not good for the Hawks to have him out of the lineup (even if you like that ball movement without him) but, in the long term, they have to be happy to see their All-Star guard embracing a cautious approach.

“Right when it’s feeling great, I don’t want to jump straight back out there,” Joe said today. “That’s kind of what I did last time. I thought it was feeling great but then I got to running on it and it was different. I am going to really test it before I get out there.”

If Joe sticks to that plan, he’ll miss both tomorrow’s game at Indiana and Wednesday at Miami. The Hawks aren’t scheduled to practice Thursday after the back-to-back and will have a shootaround before Friday’s game at the Pistons. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe sat that one out, too, and then test ed the knee during Saturday’s practice in Detroit.

This is the first time I can recall Joe taking the long view on an injury and choosing to sit when he could suit up. He’s a tough player who’s reluctant to talk much about his injuries lest it be viewed as making excuses, but sometimes he probably should rest instead of pushing injuries.

Remember two seasons ago Joe never really let his sore right thumb heal (it still flares up from time to time). Last season Joe didn’t tell anyone about his elbow problem before suddenly going in for surgery, then rushed back from that injury–after a hot streak in January, he faded down the stretch.

Joe said there’s still some pain in the knee but not as much as after he played against Golden State last week.

“The main thing right now is to strengthen my quadriceps to knock that tendinitis out,” he said. “So far it’s been working.”

Asked if it’s tough to sit out, Joe said: “We keep winning, it’s not that hard. I think you lose a game or two you tend to get anxious and want to get out there and help as much as possible. But we keep winning, [so] all I have got to do is take my time.”

Unfortunately for the Hawks, the timing of Joe’s knee troubles is bad because it adds him to their increasingly crowded injured list right before they embark on a challenging six-game trip.

Willie Green (back spasms) participated in practice today but is questionable to play against the Pacers. So is Tracy McGrady (knee), who was limited in practice today, and Jerry Stackhouse, who didn’t travel with the team today because of a stomach virus. Jason Collins (elbow) won’t make the trip, which means he’s out at least another two weeks.

“I think we have more day-to-day [guys] than we do active bodies,” Larry Drew joked.

Green took the court today for the first time since David Lee crashed into him and tweaked his back. He said he’s had back spasms one other time in his career, though he can’t recall exactly when. Green’s treatment plan has included massage therapy and stretching to loosen up his back.

“See how it feels tomorrow and go from there,” Green said.

McGrady declined to talk to media today. He told a Hawks spokesman the knee feels “OK” and he’s day-to-day.

Drew said Stackhouse could re-join the team tomorrow in Indiana. The Hawks said they don’t believe Stackhouse’s illness is related to the bug that recently sidelined Vladimir Radmanovic.

So the Hawks could open the trip with Kirk Hinrich as the only healthy shooting guard. If that’s the case, Drew probably will have no choice but to go small in the backcourt for stretches until Green or Stackhouse returns.

The schedule provides no relief with Indiana, Miami, Denver and the Clippers among Atlanta’s six opponents in nine days.

“We are playing some good teams,” Drew said. “Certainly it will be a big challenge for us given whether we may or may not have Joe. Obviously Al [Horford] has been gone all year. It gives our bench guys a chance to play against some good teams. A lot of them are used to playing against those second-team type players. Now, with our situation what it is, they will be thrown into the fire to play against these first-tier guys and play significant minutes. It will be a big test for us. I’m anxious to see how we respond.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

121 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2012
5:57 pm

So Kirk gets to guard 6′9″ Paul George and D-Wade on back to back nights. Good luck.

Melvin

March 5th, 2012
6:04 pm

All these injuries along with wasting two roster spots for Collins and Diamper leaves the Hawks short handed and under man. Terrible asset management but the Hawks.

JaeEvolution

March 5th, 2012
6:12 pm

Hopefully we can steal one of the Lakers first round picks with a Hinrich trade and use our pick and theirs to draft two solid players.

One guy I really like is Will Barton, despite his lanky skinny frame he is a top rebounding guard in all of college and has a knack to crash the boards, along with getting to the FT line at a very good rate. He is someone to look out for in Memphis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chZNPzyY3pQ

Dawg

March 5th, 2012
6:13 pm

Collins is taking an entire roster spot for the few minutes he has played this year. I don’t see the value.

Sautee

March 5th, 2012
6:14 pm

“So Kirk gets to guard 6′9″ Paul George and D-Wade on back to back nights. Good luck.”

Perhaps that was Joe’s thinking as well. ;-)

Slimjr

March 5th, 2012
6:17 pm

Rest is good ultimately! Playoffs will be here soon enough. Iso needs to be ready to go war..

doc

March 5th, 2012
6:20 pm

tough times ahead, hope we got some energy.

Admirable Snackbar

March 5th, 2012
6:21 pm

it’s a TRAP!

no really.

time to buy in Hawks. there is no I in team. the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. GO HAWKS!

doc

March 5th, 2012
6:22 pm

dmb says jj went soft and is faking it to avoid a trade and now sautee implies to avoid being humiliated by other guards the next few games. heh heh ;-)

SB75

March 5th, 2012
6:39 pm

JaeEvolution

March 5th, 2012
6:12 pm

Hopefully we can steal one of the Lakers first round picks with a Hinrich trade and use our pick and theirs to draft two solid players.

One guy I really like is Will Barton, despite his lanky skinny frame he is a top rebounding guard in all of college and has a knack to crash the boards, along with getting to the FT line at a very good rate. He is someone to look out for in Memphis.

That’s the rumor, but I’m thinking Tony Wroten if we do get the pick.

Sautee

March 5th, 2012
6:41 pm

doc, even as I posted, I wondered if you would comment, lol.

Not to avoid humiliation though. Just the effort.

ntrigue

March 5th, 2012
6:42 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out Joe is faking probably was told to do so by his agent especially if the golden state trade rumors have any truth!

Slimjr

March 5th, 2012
6:42 pm

I hope T-Mac can comeback and give good mins?

Sautee

March 5th, 2012
6:43 pm

doc,

Or, put another way, Joe’s a good downhill runner, and this is an uphill week.

pointguardslim

March 5th, 2012
6:44 pm

Joe destroyed Paul George last time. And to Mrs. Sautee…

Leuer is playing the 4 (on the block) offensively. I said he has the potential to play outside with Josh inside in our big lineup.

;) Anyone who wants to say something about Bogut can get their shots in though.

But, Now the 1st trade I remember was Thabeet (expiring), Motiejunas (overseas,low salary), Jordan Hill (expiring).

Now with Dwight Howard (expiring) & he could have joined us. And now Horford is worth $12M not $5M AND missing the season AND Hawks not being contenders with/without him….

We just beat OKC with Josh, Ivan, Marvin, Stackhouse, Pachulia

Now we’re stuck because Horford aint worth Dwight. And we have no salary cap. Josh likely leaving after showing he can guard 3,4,5 and only needed some role player help. A shooter and a DEF center.

So how do you like them apples? Because they seem rotten to me.

Horford improving? Into what? What did you see this year that was improved? His jumpshot that disappeared? His fadeaway airball vs the Bobcats? His numerous missed hook shots?

So whats Horfy gonna be? Dwight? Duncan? Karl Malone? KG? Kevin Love?

He peaked a while ago like I said.

pointguardslim

March 5th, 2012
6:47 pm

Horford for Deron
The Nets’ deal for Williams was the biggest shocker, since very few teams called Utah other than New Jersey.Atlanta inquired but when the Jazz asked for Al Horford, the Hawks’ interest died.Williams is a tier up from Horford, if not two, but the Hawks felt they couldn’t part with their best/only big man.

So Atlanta addressed another important need: Shoring up their backcourt defense by sending Mike Bibby to Washington and bringing back Kirk Hinrich. The Heat had interest in Hinrich, as did the Lakers. But neither team had the package the Hawks delivered, with promising rookie Jordan Crawford and a No. 1 pick going to the Wizards.

Idk what the package was because Horfy was only $5M but Deron Williams just dropped 57 on the Bobcats.

kevkat

March 5th, 2012
6:53 pm

Can you believe injuries could possibly save L.D’s job? Dammit!

TMACfan

March 5th, 2012
6:53 pm

Guys, if Portland is “Blowing up” then we should try this:

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7rc37wa

LaMarcus gives us a legit inside shooting threat and JC1 was very valuable in the POST SEASON!

Sautee

March 5th, 2012
6:53 pm

“And to Mrs. Sautee…

“Leuer is playing the 4 (on the block) offensively. I said he has the potential to play outside with Josh inside in our big lineup.”

I’ll give Mrs. Sautee the message. She rarely reads the blog. And I said NOTHING about Leuer playing on the block, other than when he matched up with 6′ 8 ” Ivan Johnson, there was NO WAY he is a seven footer, as you have repeatedly claimed on this blog. NO WAY, so why exaggerate?

I’m not doubting his ability to play outside. I DO doubt that he’s a starter in this league, although the talent level is abysmal, IMHO.

doc

March 5th, 2012
6:54 pm

downhill eh? yeah me too. sub five minute mile in the peachtree when it started in the heart of buckhead at the od sears. all down hill baby adrenalin gflwng with the crowd. then heartbreak hill, ugh. i know how jj feels.

Slimjr

March 5th, 2012
6:54 pm

This game tomorrow against the Paces may get real ugly? Not feeling good about this game at all…

Say it aint so Joe!

TMACfan

March 5th, 2012
6:55 pm

@pointguardslim

Please don’t bring up the name “Jon Lueur” EVER again.

doc

March 5th, 2012
6:56 pm

sautee did you notice kendrick wasnt that much taller than ivan?

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 5th, 2012
7:01 pm

“We keep winning”

Yeah, winning 2 games in a row after LOSING AT HOME TO A GOLDEN STATE TEAM WITHOUT STEPHEN CURRY constitutes “keep winning.”

Real _crazy_88

March 5th, 2012
7:18 pm

I’m just glad that Tracy’s knee is ok. He’s worked really hard the past couple of yrs rehabbing his left knee after the micro fracture surgery. I don’t expect the Hawks to play him vs. the Pacers but maybe he’ll be back vs. the Heat. I know he’s looking forward to seeing the Pistons trainer who helped him break thru his micro fracture last yr.

real_crazy_88sautee

March 5th, 2012
7:29 pm

I think Joe is making the right decision.

pointguardslim

March 5th, 2012
7:30 pm

@TMACfan

I’m rarely on here (banned) so I won’t unless he’s available via free agency. He is 6′10 without shoes so that makes him 6′11.

Curiously enough Ivan looks/and is reported as shorter than his listed height (Mr. Willis at peachtree says 6′6).

So “he who shall not be named” is 6′11 at least ;)
——–

But yeah, team screwed up its chances by overrating Horford. I would like Horford for Garnett cuz I know we arent getting Dwight. I know he still dominates Boozer & Bosh. I know he can take jumpers in the big lineups that Horford/Ivan cant from the elbow.

And I know some teams we can beat with neither KG or Horford

pointguardslim

March 5th, 2012
7:41 pm

also @TMACfan don’t ever bring up trading Marvin Williams eliminating competition for Taco-Mac to start. He’s not a long term or short term solution as a starter ;)

right on time

March 5th, 2012
7:47 pm

Is amazing how when Al was drafted every one was so high on him, because he was the most “NBA READY” player in the draft. Since that time Al hasnt grown much and has pretty much peaked. He doesnt have the drive to work hard or own the center position. I love my Job and Im glad they gave me a chance and a role. I give it my all. Al doesnt give it his All. Not like Josh. You haters may not like Josh but he gives it his heart and soul and will fight to the end. He represents the ATL very well.

We seen just about the best Al has to offer. Its time for him to move on.

Tyrone

March 5th, 2012
7:47 pm

Cousin BooBoo’s inside source with Pheonix told him that the Hawks have requested Lopez as part of the trade. Currently, the trade is Horford, a 2nd round pick, and Hinrich(expiring 8 mil) for Steve Nash(expiring 11 mil) and Josh Childress (6.5 mil per year for 3 more years). Originally, Phoenix would not make the deal without including Childress. They clearly want to dump his contract.
I think the Hawks request guite reasonable.
Again, Nash probably won’t resign with the Hawks, but they will have a legitimate center and $8 mil in cap space!
Let’s cross our collected fingers!

right on time

March 5th, 2012
7:49 pm

We’ve seen just about the best Al has to offer

Jody

March 5th, 2012
8:00 pm

LOL at the Al hate. Smh.

Ph.D.

March 5th, 2012
8:15 pm

Joe, take Cherry extract: you can drink it or take pills; your doctors won’t tell you, but it will help your aches a ton. All the best, Ph.D.

Joe D

March 5th, 2012
8:16 pm

TMACfan,

How does this trade make Portland any better? How does it make the Hawks better. It leaves the Hawks with same issues: no center and two PFs.

Smith

March 5th, 2012
8:17 pm

Who is BooBoo?

doc

March 5th, 2012
8:18 pm

i dont want that lopez.

ill take 14/9 from a center. that lopez wont ever get close to that. lopez might not be anything more than third string. need a top ten twelve center for al tgat somehow costs less. unfortuastely that is about like wishing garnett would appear in a horford uniform who only costs about ten mil more.

pgs did mama pgs ever get tired of listening to you say the same thing over and over? if not she was probably related to mother teresa. :-)

falCans

March 5th, 2012
8:42 pm

FIRST OFF ATL FANS IF UR TRUE YOU HAVE TO BE ON THE JOSH SMITH BANDW&GON(iv been on fa 4 yrs( HE IS A HOMETOWN TOWN KID SO SHOW SUM LOYALTY!! JUST GLAD HE HAS THE CHANCE TO GET A TRUE GREEN LIGHT OFFENSIVELY. aLL JOSH HATE NEEDS TO BE BANNED FROM THE BLOG. HE NEEDS TO KNOW WE WANT HIM before he becomes a top free agent!!! HARFORD MUST GO HES HOLDIN JOSH BACK. JJ NEEDS HIS ROLE REDUCED AND BUILD AROUND SMOOVE. O YEA TRADE MARVIN

aytunstoppable

March 5th, 2012
8:56 pm

I’m glad he gonna come back slowly. Rose and Wade both rested. Pop rests duncan and parker. And those teams are doing pretty good. So rest. its not the end of the world. Atleast he’s not gonna ruch back and get huirt even worse like normally. Joe is too tough for his own good.

JaeEvolution

March 5th, 2012
8:59 pm

Why don’t we go after Deron Williams again now? We could headline a trade with Joe Johnson and give them either a young wing in Marvin or an expiring in Kirk as well.

Ray

March 5th, 2012
9:05 pm

You know I haven’t been on in quite some time.

First let me say great job by the Atlanta Hawks for the previous two wins they actually beat someone that was well respect around the league and contenders too.

Now about Josh Smith I will say this I was upset with the guy, but you know what I just might buy back into him after his performances over the entire season. Yes he is maddening, but this season alone shows exactly why I’d rather have him than Joe Johnson or Al Horford, and not only that if I am ASG with any shred of integrity they do have I’m trying to keep the guy.

With all that said though I still think L.D is not the coach for this job he has improved, but two things that get on my nerves about him is the accountability and his subbing patterns. I won’t really get too much into it cause it’s been said to death many times.

Last as much as I love some of you guys on here you guys would not be the GM or I pray you guys aren’t the GM.

I’ve seen and heard a good number of trade ideas being floated around by you guys and none of them make much sense.

1. Because they only seem to happen when we lose or go on a long losing streak

2. Unrealistic and just plain retarded.

For example for awhile people had been saying send both Kirk and Marvin to N.O for just Kaman at least that’s what I remember problem is Kaman isn’t worth two players. I not fond of the two players, but we can get better deals than that for those two.

northcyde

March 5th, 2012
9:07 pm

With all of this love for Josh Smith, why don’t more people in ATL go out to watch him play?

Ray

March 5th, 2012
9:08 pm

@ JaeEvolution

That’s exactly what I mean your trade is more along the lines of unrealistic.

Nets aren’t giving up on D-will and if they do it would take more than a Joe Johnson and Kirk or Marvin to get him down here.

Ray

March 5th, 2012
9:11 pm

@ northcyde

Because the people in ATL want to watch good product not one that wants to win today and come back 5 days later to win again.

Oh they want to see 48 mins of good basketball not 2 quarters and once the going get tough we quit mentality.

Big Lou

March 5th, 2012
9:15 pm

Well, at least we won’t expect a win tomorrow or anytime soon. So, every win on the road will be a pleasant surprise.

Sautee

March 5th, 2012
9:16 pm

“With all of this love for Josh Smith, why don’t more people in ATL go out to watch him play?”

LOL. Just how many people on this blog live in the ATL? And of those, how many are Josh lovers?

And of ALL of the Josh lovers on the blog, if ALL of them, every pro-Josh blogger on this blog all went to the same game, from in town or not, just how many extra fans do you reckon that would be, northcyde?

I’d say 37 or so. But let’s be generous and double that. So now we’re at 74.

Not that the cameras at Philips would notice, LOL.

northcyde

March 5th, 2012
9:32 pm

Nah Ray. This team won 34 home games 2 years ago, and people were still lukewarm on the Hawks.

More people don’t come out to watch Josh play, because he isn’t a superstar. The same goes for Joe and Al. And because of that, no one on this team is untouchable. No one.

People shouldn’t act like anyone on this team is a box office draw. If the team can be upgraded by doing a close to lateral move, the Hawks shouldn’t hesitate to do it.

KevinM

March 5th, 2012
9:34 pm

Anyone remember this incident? Marvin actually with an over agressive move….http://cnnsi.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1012/rajon.rondo.rare.photos/content.8.html

I bet you can’t find 2 incidents like that out of Marvin. Bigger guys always seem to go after the PGs.

Rob

March 5th, 2012
9:40 pm

I couldnt agree more Northcyde. 2 years ago they were killing it at Phillips. Still could not get a draw because the city responds to supserstars. NO one is untouchable

northcyde

March 5th, 2012
9:51 pm

Lol @ 37.

Let’s say on any given night, 25,000 people in metro ATL at least think about going to watch the Hawks. And say maybe 50% to 75% actually do go.

What % of the crowd actually go to the game to see a specific Hawk player? We all know that some fans go to see opposing players. But what % go to see a particular player on our team?

Like will a hardcore Al, JJ or Josh fan go to see him specifically on a Wed. night, when we’re playing the Bobcats?

That’s how we’ll know if we have a box office draw. If we have a big crowd when a bad team comes to town.

Sautee

March 5th, 2012
9:53 pm

nc,

Glad you realized I was being facetious. ;-)