Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith doubtful for Game 3 with knee injury

A person with knowledge of the prognosis for Josh Smith said the Hawks forward is doubtful to play in Game 3 against the Celtics Friday after he suffered a left knee injury in Game 2 Tuesday.

The person said Smith has patellar tendonitis with inflammation in the injured area but an MRI revealed no structural damage. If Smith misses Game 3 he likely would return for Game 4 Sunday in Boston, according to the person.

The person did not want to be identified because the Hawks have not released details of Smith’s injury. The Hawks released a statement that said Smith is day-to-day with a “strained left tendon.”

Smith suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Atlanta’s 87-80 defeat to Boston. He appeared to pull up limping after a layup attempt and later aggravated it while jostling for rebounding position with Boston’s Kevin Garnett.

Smith played through nagging injuries during the regular season. Smith and Jeff Teague were the only starters to play in all 66 games.

“I know Josh is a guy if it’s just hurting him, he’s going to play,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said before Smith’s MRI results were known. “He has that kind of toughness. But if it’s a situation where he positively, absolutely can’t play, then he won’t be out there.

“I’m always worried in these situations. He’ s just been so good for us and certainly he’s a key component in order for us to have success. With both of your centers out and looking at your power forward being injured, I’m hoping for the best. ”

The Hawks also are without Al Horford (pectoral) and Zaza Pachulia (foot). Horford has ruled himself out for the entire series but there is a chance Pachulia can return if the series is extended.

Drew said Smith’s injury has no bearing on the timetable for Horford and Pachulia.

“I ask every day how they are doing, but me asking and wanting them back is not going to speed up the process whether they are ready or not,” Drew said. “If they are ready and they can play I am sure they would play. If Josh is not ready to go, and if Zaza and Al are not ready, I will just have to be without all three guys and we will march on. As bad as I want those guys back, if those guys aren’t ready to play I can’t push it or pressure them into playing.”

If the Hawks have to play without Smith, they’d be left with no effective low-post scorers or help defenders in the frontcourt. Ivan Johnson would be about it as far as big men who can rebound.

Drew’s options for the lineup would include starting Johnson at power forward alongside Jason Collins or going small with Marvin Williams, Vladimir Radmanovic or Tracy McGrady at power forward.

None of those options is likely to do much to help Atlanta’s anemic offense. Smith’s ability to score in the post and ignite the fast break after rebounds have been the most reliable options for the Hawks in this series.

“We have to make a decision who to insert into the starting lineup,” Drew said. “It changes the matchups. Defensively, we would have to make adjustments. Offensively we are certainly going to have to do some things differently. As far as posting up, he’s the guy I’ve really been going through a lot. We would have to tweak things quite a bit.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

272 comments Add your comment

Rod from College Park

May 2nd, 2012
11:32 pm

Watching the Memphis and Clippers game seeing Nick Young out here balling, and he was available for nothing at the trade deadline. SMH

Melvin

May 2nd, 2012
11:37 pm

Rod,

No the BASG preferred to pay the luxury tax to sign Stack and Diamp then sell one of their 2nd round picks for cash… They could’ve easily traded that pick for Nick Young.

KevinM

May 2nd, 2012
11:37 pm

One game later and the tone has totally changed here.

LD lost that game last night and he should admit it.

Why aren’t we dressing Dampier with guys hurt? Doesn’t make sense.

I saw Marvin make 2 excellent plays last night, but LD loves this guy. He’ll get more minutes than he deserves.

doc

May 2nd, 2012
11:42 pm

gm jeje, there are different levels of bone on bone so it is hard tosay and the term itself is used loosely. for roy it was so bad i read that they were considering cartilage transfer, highly experimental. i guess it would be reasonable to try unless there were some contraindications to it.

as far as roy the decision to do it was devastating as he risked early returns after surgery before which may have ultimately done him in. remember he was back in two weeks to play playoffs so he is a gamer. i respect it if he says he cant play at the risk of not walking.

doc

May 2nd, 2012
11:44 pm

reasonable was the stem cell not cartilage transfer.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2012
11:47 pm

“Can Memphis rebound after a terrible choke job in game 1? Do you still want to stick with them as your pick to get to the NBA finals?”

Haha… I won’t back down from that pick after one game. My instinct says bouncing back from that should be really tough for a non-battle tested team, but Memphis is leading right now and apparently teams that have suffered that kind of crushing defeat early in the playoffs have historically bounced back and advanced pretty far. I still think they match up well with everyone in the West and they will get to the Finals.

doc

May 3rd, 2012
12:02 am

45 what slimj?

[...] Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Josh Smith’s injured knee makes him doubtful for Game 3Article source: [...]

Buddy Grizzard

May 3rd, 2012
12:46 am

Basketball value confirms, Willie Green is the worst player to see court time for the Hawks:

http://basketballvalue.com/teamplayers.php?year=2012%20playoffs&mode=full&sortnumber=93&sortorder=DESC&team=ATL

Interestingly, it is the offense that suffers more with Green on the floor than any other player. The player with the most negative defensive impact? Ivan. Hat tip to Bret.

Buddy Grizzard

May 3rd, 2012
12:50 am

In case you missed it, Willie Green posted the worst aggregate +/- for the season for the Hawks:

http://www.nba.com/statistics/plusminus/plusminus_sort.jsp?pcomb=1&season=22011&split=9&team=Hawks

At -75 total for the season, Green was worse than the next closest player (Stack, -4) by a massively huge margin. Collins broke even (0) and all other Hawks posted a positive aggregate +/- for the season. The numbers from basketball value from my previous post show that this trend has continue in the postseason. Willie Green hurts the Hawks more than any other player.

So why isn’t T-Mac playing again? Only Josh, Joe and Teague posted a better +/- for the season. And according to basketball value, McGrady has the best overall net rating of any non-starter for the Hawks.

TMACfan

May 3rd, 2012
1:11 am

#FreeTMAC

#FreeTMAC

#FreeTMAC

#FreeTMAC

#FreeTMAC

#FreeTMAC

#FreeTMAC

#FreeTMAC

[...] Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Josh Smith’s injured knee makes him doubtful for Game 3Article source: [...]

JSS

May 3rd, 2012
6:50 am

It will be interesting to see if they completely shake their Woodson roots. That first half is so important! Let McGrady set the offense if you’re not fast breaking. Then if the Celtics can’t stop it, leave it the heck alone!

Grandad

May 3rd, 2012
7:38 am

Buddy G

When I was coaching;
I found that a far more telling and important (+/-) stat
was the 5 man combinations.

This shows the value of Cap`n kirk to our team.
Our best 5 man combo: [in no particular order]
*Kirk *Joe *Zaza *Josh *Teague

* others who pop up in 5 man combos in descending order
from best to worst with (Josh, Joe, Teague) being in most;
(Kirk & Zaza) being in more than the rest.
1. V-Rad / Horford
2. Marv
3 Ivan
4. Collins
5. Willie Green
6. Pargo / T-Mac
____________________________________________

- To me the anomaly is Marv -
____________________________________________

aggregate (+/-) is always dependent upon the other four
players on the floor simultaneous with player x.

Dawg

May 3rd, 2012
7:53 am

We lose momentum in this series everytime Joe brings the ball up court. He does not have the skills to start an offense.

He bogs every thing down.

BIG DOG

May 3rd, 2012
8:24 am

Coach LD must go with big lineup.

Teague, Joe, Josh, Ivan, Collins

Hawks would win this series.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

May 3rd, 2012
8:27 am

With out Josh Friday

Teague, Joe, Vlad, Ivan, Collins

Pargo or Hinrich, Green, Tmac, Marvin, Dampier

Hawks wins Game 3.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

May 3rd, 2012
8:32 am

Joe get the ball more around the basket against Avery in the Paint would eliminate ISO Joe 1 on 1.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

May 3rd, 2012
8:42 am

All good coaches make the correct adjustment, will LD do what necessary for benefit of the team ? HA

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

terrell

May 3rd, 2012
8:48 am

Thanks BK for drafting that dude with the duck butt, who WASNT even a starter in college, #2 overall. Preciate it..

terrell

May 3rd, 2012
8:49 am

And thank you Woody and LD for continuing to start him.

terrell

May 3rd, 2012
8:50 am

And thanks for giving him an extension Ricky boy. Your’re the greatest.

[...] no structural damage to Smith’s knee, but the Hawks still consider their star forward as being doubtful to suit up for Game 3: A person with knowledge of the prognosis for Josh Smith said the Hawks forward is doubtful to play [...]

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
9:24 am

With no J Smoove on Friday, our frontcourt options are:

Ivan, Collins, and Dampier at 5

Marvin, Vlad, and Ivan at 4

You can easily rotate those 5 guys and have a valid frontcourt. But all those guys have weaknesses of various sorts – Ivan too small, Marvin too weak, Damp to slow, Vlad too many things, Collins slow and can’t hold up. But rotate them, and you have a serviceable Frontcourt. Doc would.

And you still have plenty of options 1-3:

3 – JJ, TMac, Stack (Hinrich in a pinch)

2 – JJ, Hinrich, Green

1 – Teague, Pargo, Hinrich, even Green if you had too.

Been rewatching some of game 2. Observations:

1) The two fastest guys on the court were Teague and Marvin. Teague’s jog was faster than anyone else’s sprint. And I see how coach’s can get intoxicated with Marvin’s athleticism – he can flat out fly getting up and down the court when he wants too. He just all too rarely does anything with it beneficial.

2) Gotta get the ball out of JJ’s hands. Folks need to start moving, cutting, slicing, screening and attacking when the ball touch’s JJ’s hands. Get that ball out of his hands!

We’ve been excoriated on the national media for not doubling Paul Pierce in the game. I guess what they don’t see, if we would have doubled PP in most situations, it would have led to easy baskets for Bradley and Garnett. Our best approach, at least in that game – was straight up D. Gotta credit Paul Pierce – that’s why he’s a 1st ballot HOF’er.

And don’t get me wrong, I like JJ’s game alot. But Paul Pierce is way better than JJ. Not even close especially in what’s needed for playoff basketball.

JJ needs another great scorer to be effective. He’s just not “the man”.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
9:26 am

I think we can steal a game in Boston. It may be Boston who’s too over confident after game 2.

vava74

May 3rd, 2012
9:26 am

Unbelievable… :-D

Rod and mini-Rod trying to convert a loss which happened AFTER Josh first tweaked and then sprained his knee into “we are missing Jamal”.

We are not missing Jamal, we are MISSING:

a) 3 of our 4 main front court guys (PF – C positions since the middle of the 4th quarter of Game 2);

b) A REAL HEAD COACH.

It’s crystal clear that we lost Game 2 exactly where playoff games are won and lost, ON DEFENSE and ON REBOUNDING.

BOSTON was the worst rebounding team in the league and we got out rebounded (-5, being that this differential happened exactly on the second half).

Apart from Josh’s 12 rebounds we had nothing else going on the rebounding department.

We had Marvin with 6 and we all know that any minutes in which Marvin is on the floor in this series are LOST MINUTES since he is giving us NOTHING and LD keeps on playing him.

Also, you cannot go into the playoffs and not have at least one of the main cogs on the floor. WTF is LD doing playing 5 reserves at the same time when we are already missing 2 of our top 6 players in Zaza and Al???

JJ or Smoove must be on the floor at all times AND you need to ride them 40+ minutes if necessary.

Another LD mistake: he needs to get McGrady on the floor with the starters, in particular with JJ to spread the floor and stop teams collapsing.

NO ONE WILL GUARD COLLINS, NOR MARVIN, so it’s always 5 defenders on 3 players. YOU CAN’T WIN GAMES LIKE THIS.

Another blunder:

Many are gripping and chirping about Jamal and saying that Pargo and Green are not giving us what Jamal gave us, clearly forgetting Jamal’s production against CHI after game 1.

WRONG: it’s the rotations and the sets that LD is using that are WRONG.

If you run plays for Green, he will shoot and will shoot at high percentage.

If Green is on the floor, you need to run sets which have him shooting off screens and once he starts to get going he will score in other ways too.

Also, you can and should use Pargo for short stretches with the starters, for instance, with Hinrich and JJ so you have 3 guys capable of handling the rock and let Pargo play as an off guard.

MIX and MATCH

LD is being exposed for what he is: an assistant coach which is waaaaaaay over his head

As for Game 3:

Rest Smoove and HOPE he comes back to normal for Game 4 so we can get the win then and regain home court.

Nonetheless, on Game 3 play hard nosed physical basketball and unleash Ivan – give him 40 minutes (if he does not foul out) and the authority to play his game as if he was playing in Korea.

We need to be fearless in spite of the lack of bodies – JUST SHOW UP AND HIT THEM AS HARD AS POSSIBLE.

HARD FOULS – DIRTY PLAYS – JUST F%%$$YG DO IT. If you lose, you lose, but don’t go down without a fight.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
9:29 am

I know we are building on the Detroit model, the San Antonio model blah, blah, blah, but it’s obvious to me we need a great scorer, who can also play D, to get to the next level. Paul Pierce, as I’ve been saying for awhile now, would have been a great fit on this team.

But Marvin, Hinrich, and a 1st wouldn’t have gotten him here when the Celts were looking at trading everybody, and that’s about all we had to offer really.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
9:33 am

Vava – Yeh, Collins, Ivan, and Dampier ought to be able to deliver some physicality in the paint.

Collins has looked ok to me for what he is, but moving that fast for any length of time has normally led to an injured Collins since he’s been a Hawk.

vava74

May 3rd, 2012
9:34 am

Rod,

Nick Young does not rebound, pass or play any D.

24 minutes: zero rebounds, zero assists, zero steals, zero blocks and a ± of -13

Sure, he is talented, but you are so infatuated with offense that you don’t even consider other aspects which are far more important.

In the playoffs, you need rebounding and D to win games and that must come from ALL players on the court.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
9:34 am

I’m just glad our guys sound like they are in battle mode – 7 games etc. They’re not conceding it sounds like, and that’s good.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
9:46 am

It really is time to unleash TMac. I’m not sure what the hold up is. Saving him? For what, the off season? I mean seriously, play the man.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
9:53 am

Najeh, I really like Memphis, and started saying they would be contenders when they were 41-41 a couple of years ago. But It just doesn’t look like they have quite enough firepower to make the Championship round. Close, but not quite. But really good however. The West is just loaded.

The Spurs just dismantled the Jazz. I really thought the Jazz could at least make them work in that series.

Pops is just a great coach.

And Indy has made a good move in starting George Hill at the Point, and having Collison come off the bench. Did Collison get hurt or something? Seems like it’s working out well for them.

I would like to see Orlando win the next game at home. Big Baby’s been playing ok. What happened to Jason Richardson? You talk about a demise. He was a good ball player at one time.

joeygt1

May 3rd, 2012
10:11 am

all the negativity bc the hawks lost one game is unreal.. we are the better team we will win the series against the celtics.. it is a best of seven not of one or two games… when we count the hawks out the always impress us… lets wait til after games 4 til we start makeing assumptions…

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 3rd, 2012
10:58 am

We got needs.

We need 28 points and 12 rebounds from Marvin in game 3. Joe need to step up and score, rebound and, assist.

life time hawk

May 3rd, 2012
10:58 am

To. Slimjr. I hate when ppl are talking out of their a$$ 1st Josh is still under contract next year and how can Boston have their brooms ready when Atlanta won game 1 in order to have brooms out u have to win a series 4 games to none

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 3rd, 2012
10:59 am

Ivan, we need you to play inside and grab 15 boards, 15 points.

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 3rd, 2012
10:59 am

Ivan, we need you to play inside and grab 15 boards, 15 points.

drmaryb.(*_*).

May 3rd, 2012
11:01 am

Really?

I only hit submit, once.

MsDee

May 3rd, 2012
11:05 am

drmary, the blog had to ditto that statement..

MsDee

May 3rd, 2012
11:06 am

It should have dittoed your Marvin needs as well!!

life time hawk

May 3rd, 2012
11:08 am

If ls make good decisions with the rotation we hold the big 3 around 60 points we should win in a close game

DD

May 3rd, 2012
11:19 am

guys we need to inform LD to play t-mac more or else will loose the series.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
11:21 am

I’ve been thinking about how to improve our halfcourt offense, and I would appreciate Grandad’s imput here, but I think the simple give and go, with JJ as as the go, with a well placed screen as JJ heads ot the basket, would be very effective.

We ran a high post, double high post, motion O were our 3 basic sets, but the give and go would seem to be the way to go with JJ involved. Of course with Josh in there, running it through the post, with movement, cuts and screens would be the basic way to go.

I had a great player like JJ once. But on our level (small college) this guy was better than JJ is on his level (NBA). So I really never had the problems like the Hawks have with JJ. This guy would get the ball and either elevate for a high % J, which he shot at over 50%, drive and either dish to the open man if somebody came off him to stop him, or layup if not (or get fouled), or hit a cutter from the high post where he received the ball.

It was really 75% effective if executed properly. You really put pressure on the D to have to make a play.

Oh well, just figuring. Gotta be a better halfcourt O than pound, pound, pound, and then throw up a contested shot as the shot clocks winds down.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
11:33 am

Give and Go example:

JJ is to the left of the basket at the top of the key if your facing the basket. He’s fed the ball as Hinrich and Teague come out a few feet on either side of him. Whichever one is open receives a pass from JJ, and JJ heads to the basket. Collins comes up at the foul line to pick JJ’s defender off. JJ is re-fed the basketball while all this is happening (play takes less than 2 seconds from start to finish). He is now in the lane for 1) a floater 2) tear drop 3) lay up 4) Or if the defense collapses on him from the right side, which is what help D should do, he can drop the ball to Ivan for a layup. 5) If the wall is just too great, he kicks it back out to the Post guy at the top of the key, who usually has a clean jumper, because the D has collapsed on the lane. Or the other guy who is stationed kind of where JJ came from. Tons of variations on this also. You can have the post G on JJ’s left sneak down for a corner 3 as JJ attacks the lane with the ball.

And your bigs are in great rebounding position regardless, as is JJ. And your 2 G’s, 1 is at the top of the key for getting back on D, and the other can be as well, so your ok there.

I could see ATL being a good pick and roll team with JJ and Josh, or even Teague and Josh also.

KevinM

May 3rd, 2012
11:33 am

I can guarantee if Josh isn’t going in Game 3, we see Marvin take his slot earned or not. Excuses aside, its Marvin that needs to blow up and take on some of the responsibility that comes with his role on this team.
T-Mac isn’t going to get any more minutes than he’s been getting all year. 8 games over 25 min, 1 game @ 30 minutes….all year! Don’t even look at Marvin’s numbers….it’s embarrassing IMO.

Its not going to happen folks….Willie, Vlad, Dampier, Ty Hill, Van Exel…all these guys get more minutes than T-Mac. To me, its a huge waste and an acknowledgement that LD isn’t budging from his scheme.
T-Mac knows it isn’t going ot happen either, so he just spends time in the huddle talking with the trainers.

And Al can’t give us 15 mpg in his current condition? Isn’t that better than nothing?

KevinM

May 3rd, 2012
11:36 am

Sorry, I forgot to include Stack….this a.m, the Stews are discussing playing time for T-Mac and they are confused as well. Reminds me of the Teague scenario where 3 guys have to drop off to get an actual shot.

Brian

May 3rd, 2012
11:36 am

Joe Johnson is a good #2 or #3 option. He will never carry a team. Atl is screwed with that contract. He didn’t come to Atl as a charity case he came for +$100 million !!! Smith/Johnson would be nice complements to a true alpha dog but over paying those two leaves no room for an alpha dog paycheck.

Rod from College Park

May 3rd, 2012
11:36 am

Vava,

“Rod and mini-Rod trying to convert a loss which happened AFTER Josh first tweaked and then sprained his knee into “we are missing Jamal”.”

Iv’e been saying this all year. Why act surprised now? We are averaging 81.5ppg in the playoffs. that speaks for itself. It’s no so much Jamal, its the fact that another scorer is needed. I have said that all year, and the playoffs will prove that.

“BOSTON was the worst rebounding team in the league and we got out rebounded (-5, being that this differential happened exactly on the second half).”

Just like I informed your clone northcyde, if you actually think that Josh and Zaza, or Josh and Collins are going to night after night outrebound KG and Bass then you need to brush up on you basketball knowledge. What they did in the regular sesaon means nothing. How many times do you need for me to post that. This is the PLAYOFFS. Totally different game.

SteveW

May 3rd, 2012
11:39 am

But with Teague being able to get into the lane at will, there should be open shots all over the court, because folks are collapsing on Teague. If Teague had a little better court vision and awareness, with his quicks, he would be elite.

I would send Teague to summer camp with Parker, Nash, or Paul. He doesn’t need to be DRose – Rose gets to beat up in the lane. He may be like Wade – awesome, but career cut short by playing to aggressive in the lane for a little guy.

But Wade’s still going pretty strong. Clear he lost a half step this season however. Still like his game alot.

Rod from College Park

May 3rd, 2012
11:44 am

“Nick Young does not rebound, pass or play any D.

24 minutes: zero rebounds, zero assists, zero steals, zero blocks and a ± of -13

Sure, he is talented, but you are so infatuated with offense that you don’t even consider other aspects which are far more important.

In the playoffs, you need rebounding and D to win games and that must come from ALL players on the court.”

Did it ever occur to you that Nick Young’s role on the team migh not be to rebound and facilitate. When you have a point guard like Chris Paul, you don’t need to have your 2 guard setting up other players. Nick Young had a plus minus of -13, and Chris Paul was -3, so I guess you don’t think that Chris Paul should have been on the floor either (LOL). In the playoffs you don’t need ALL players to rebound and play D. You need all players to do what they do well. I don’t think Steve Kerr, or Vinnie Johnson….. were great rebounders, or great defensive players. You need your players to do what they do well in the playoffs, whatever that is.