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

cwebb

May 2nd, 2012
2:06 pm

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
2:09 pm

GET WELL SOON!!

May 2nd, 2012
2:10 pm

The world saw how Joe is the worst Superstar when J Smith went down. Joe benefits from having Josh collapse and breakdown the D so Joe can get a wide open jumper. God knows he can’t create his own shot!!!!

BigDawg

May 2nd, 2012
2:10 pm

Series over, Boston to round 2!

msc

May 2nd, 2012
2:11 pm

im hoping this person has no idea what he is talking about lol

mike

May 2nd, 2012
2:13 pm

MC- don’t turn into Chris Broussard and his “sources” right now.. a person with “knowledge of the prognosis”?

MsDee

May 2nd, 2012
2:15 pm

All in all tho, the Hawks should just call it a day and rest..this season was just too brutal for them and many others, for that matter, to handle a 66 game season..way to go!! Proud of how far u guys came with all the injuries and to STILL finish in 4th place (record wise). Take a LONG vacation and heal, U GUYS DESERVE IT!!

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
2:15 pm

Rod from College Park

May 2nd, 2012
1:03 pm

High-sider,

Could not have said it better myself.
———————————

‘Preciate it, Rod f.C.P.

Brime Lee

May 2nd, 2012
2:18 pm

Oh God, It’s even hard to overcome last night’s 4th quarter.
Please don’t get this torture getting more worse.

Shamrock

May 2nd, 2012
2:19 pm

Maybe the Hawks will rally around Josh’s absence and pull out a win; like the Celtics did in Rondo’s absence.

*snicker*

tom

May 2nd, 2012
2:24 pm

time for TMAC

MattP

May 2nd, 2012
2:25 pm

1st round exit here we come!

hawksfan2012

May 2nd, 2012
2:25 pm

well, we already didnt have al and zaza. no josh for game 3 means a loss but i think we were gonna lose that game anyways. our best shot is to steal game 4.

mountain_jim

May 2nd, 2012
2:26 pm

Maybe the ‘person with knowledge’ was Josh, but not for attribution.

In any case, this is good news compared to the ‘done for season’ type news, even though the Hawks do look done for after that collapse of coaching, leadership, and execution.

hawksfan2012

May 2nd, 2012
2:26 pm

boston wont beat miami.

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
2:31 pm

SWAT Native

May 2nd, 2012
2:03 pm

@High-Sider: Don’t forget that Jamal Crawford is a Celtic killer, who they never found an answer for. The deep bench was better for the Hawks in the regular season, but they are going to miss JC1 in playoff games like last night.
—————————————————————————

SWAT Native, add it to “the list.” I have on several occasions referred to Jamal Crawford as the “Boston Strangler” on this blog but our recent [and resident] Celtics’ fan, Shamrock, immediately “corrected” and told me that Andrew Toney, [a] former 76ers’ shooting guard, is/was the “original Boston Strangler” along with Albert DeSalvo.

I guess I could refer to Jamal Crawford as “Boston Strangler Part II [or Part III]” in order to pacify Shamrock

BIG DOG

May 2nd, 2012
2:33 pm

Somebody said LD played bench to long, SMH.

You can’t run your starters in the ground, Hawks have the deepest bench in the nba so why would you over play your starters, makes no senese.

Best coach in the NBA Gregg Popovich never run his starters in the game, and also the Bulls coach does the same to that’s why there the 2 best coach in the game today.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

mike

May 2nd, 2012
2:34 pm

i’m still confident that the hawks can pull one out in Boston.. the media is making it seem like the series is 3-1 in the Celtics favor lol..

hawksfan2012

May 2nd, 2012
2:36 pm

mike wilbon ripped the hawks last night. arent analysts supposed to be objective?

Melvin

May 2nd, 2012
2:36 pm

Hawks will have to win at least 1 game in Boston. Lose game 3, then it put pressure on them to win 2 games in a row.

Rod from College Park

May 2nd, 2012
2:39 pm

MsDee,

“AND??? So u mean to tell me we shouldn’t TRY and see for a couple of possessions IF they (the bench) have the the touch going for them 1st?”

Yes that’s what I mean. This is the playoffs. You should always keep one of your best players on the floor, like Doc Rivers does.

Melvin

May 2nd, 2012
2:40 pm

RIP Junior Seau

steve brown

May 2nd, 2012
2:40 pm

GET WELL SOON!! -truly one of the most ignorant statements that I have ever read.

hawk_life

May 2nd, 2012
2:41 pm

I’m hoping this is some kind of psyc game against Boston. He’s been a big part of the team this year, even if he’s overly confident in his jump shots. Josh and Ivan are big with rebounding which we need to do better on.

Big Lou

May 2nd, 2012
2:42 pm

“I do want to ride my starters but I don’t want to wear them out. It’s going to be a long series.” Larry Drew

The way you’re subbing… it won’t be a long series, clown. Pack up and get out of ATL!

hawksfan2012

May 2nd, 2012
2:45 pm

if we can steal one in boston and get zaza back for game 5, i say we win this series.

Big Lou

May 2nd, 2012
2:47 pm

“You can’t run your starters in the ground, Hawks have the deepest bench in the nba so why would you over play your starters, makes no senese.

Best coach in the NBA Gregg Popovich never run his starters in the game, and also the Bulls coach does the same to that’s why there the 2 best coach in the game today.”

That is such an idiotic statement. Have you watched the other playoff games this year? This is the playoffs, not the regular season!

Chicago – Deng is almost in the WHOLE game.
Heat – Lebron is almost in the WHOLE game.
Boston – Rondo/Bradley/Pierce is almost in the WHOLE game.

Pierce was in the WHOLE second half yesterday, and what did he do? He dropped 36 points and grabbed 14 boards.

Nobody is saying play the starters the duration of the game. The point is that you don’t HAVE YOUR WHOLE F!CKING BENCH UNIT OUT AT THE SAME TIME! THAT’S F!CKING STUPID! Especially when you have Pierce, Garnett, and Bradley out for the other team.

kingd92

May 2nd, 2012
2:48 pm

Josh has heart, he will play.

Lineup:
Teague
JJ
T-Mac
Josh
Ivan

Bench:
Pargo
Kirk
Marvin/Vlad/Collins (For Ivan/Josh rest)
Rotation ends at 8 players.

Let’s get one back at Boston.
#FreeTmac

Big Lou

May 2nd, 2012
2:48 pm

“All in all tho, the Hawks should just call it a day and rest..this season was just too brutal for them and many others, for that matter, to handle a 66 game season..way to go!! Proud of how far u guys came with all the injuries and to STILL finish in 4th place (record wise). Take a LONG vacation and heal, U GUYS DESERVE IT!!”

I hope that’s sarcasm. If it’s not, as the great DawgNole and Grandmaster JeJe would say…

Welcome to Looserville.

Michael Cunningham

May 2nd, 2012
2:49 pm

blog updated with quotes.

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
2:49 pm

Josh Smith’s recent [knee] injury coupled with his playing status listed [graded] as “doubtful” further strengthens my argument/case/point that Jamal Crawford should have been re-signed. If Josh Smith doesn’t play [Friday night in Game 3 vs. the Boston Celtics], the Hawks will have only one quality, legitimate, experienced and proven [playoff] scorer in [a Hawks'] uniform.

Look at all that [potential scoring] pressure that will [or could possibly be] thrust upon Joe Johnson.

Rick Sund and the ASG, this playoff series, if lost, is on you [two] due to bad player/roster moves and management.

kingd92

May 2nd, 2012
2:51 pm

@ Big Lou:

Completely agree man. You have to sprinkle them in with the starters. If casual fans and some of us that have experience with only high school or college basketball can recognize this how can our dumba$$ NBA coach not?

hawksfan2012

May 2nd, 2012
2:52 pm

we lost momentum when coach drew left the bench in for too long.

AtlTodoLaVida

May 2nd, 2012
2:52 pm

Tmac and Stack time.

Section 303

May 2nd, 2012
2:55 pm

Good thing those idiots lost last night. Sure Game 3 will be a breeze without Josh…..

Boston in 5. We have no chance.

Marvin Williams sucks.

kingd92

May 2nd, 2012
2:56 pm

Knowing how clueless LD is I already know the answer to: “We have to make a decision who to insert into the starting lineup,” Drew said.

He’s gonna start Marvin and be content while the rest of us sit here frustrated.

KellieJ

May 2nd, 2012
2:56 pm

First, get well soon Josh and ZaZa we need you!!

SMH!! Atlanta “fans” sure are hard on the “stars”. Joe only came here when we were the worst team in the NBA…and had been for years…he didn’t have to come here and he didn’t have to help bring back excitement and some positive recognition to the Hawks…but he did. The minute we fall in ONE game it’s ALL his fault and he’s the worst superstar in the league..REALLY??!!

I still believe the Hawks will be fine, it’s ONE GAME PEOPLE!! Let’s move on and get ready for the next one! The series is even, it’s now the best of five, it’s FAR from over.
LETS GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS IF YOUR A HAWKS FAN AND YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO THE HIGHLIGHT FACTORY, CAN YOU PLEASE START SHOWING UP??? I’M SOOOOOOO SICK OF SITTING NEXT TO PEOPLE CHEERING FOR THE OPPONENT!!!!!!!!

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2012
2:59 pm

RETIRE RICK SUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Josh maybe done for this series? Remember hes an unrestricted free agent next year and will get close to 100million…

He’s not going to risk destroying his knee for this organization…Why should he..They treated him like the step child..

45×2=90 [2058]

northcyde

May 2nd, 2012
2:59 pm

O’brien

May 2nd, 2012
10:04 am

northcyde,

History suggests that Rod is right. The problem with this team (when going up against Boston) is our offense (not defense).

These are the points given up to Boston this year (regular season and playoffs, but not counting the game where Doc rested his starters).

79 (L), 88 (L), 74 (L), 87 (L). We are giving up 82 ppg to Boston, but yet we are 0-4 in those 4 games. Where is the offense?

******************

It’s still about the defense O’Brien.

In those games you listed, here is what Boston did in the 4th quarter

Game 1: 29 points on 50% FG ( Hawks scored 25 points on 47% FG ) . . . Boston hadn’t scored over 20 points in any quarter up until that point, but pulled away when Allen and Pietrus sparked the run with 3 point shots.

Game 2: 16 points on 29% FG ( Hawks scored 17, shoot 27% FG ) . . . we lose in OT

Game 3: 21 points on 47% FG ( Hawks scored 18, shoot 35% FG) . . . with the Boston defense fueling their run to get them back in the game . . . we WON this game by the way.

Last night: The Celtics scored 26 points and shot 57% FG in the 4th quarter last night, mainly because their defense fueled their offense. And this is right after the Hawks had held them to 20 points and 27% FG shooting in the 3rd quarter.

So in 3 of the 4 games, the Boston offense got going due to the Hawks not being able to stop them on the other end in transition, or in the half court.

All of this talk about the Hawks getting out and running is fine, but they also have to play defense and rebound the basketball. That’s the only way we’re winning this series.

Defensive rebounding fuels offensive transition opportunities.

As for Jamal Crawford . . last I checked, the Boston defense is much more similar to the 2011 Bulls defense, than it is to the 2011 Orlando defense. And we all know what Jamal did against the 2011 Bulls defense, after they decided that they were going to take him out of the series.

Boston would’ve ( and is ) doing the same thing to our perimeter scorers.

The offense can be better, but it starts with defense. You simply have to get stops.

BIG DOG

May 2nd, 2012
2:59 pm

MC – Please don’t say Marvin is going to starte ? JUST DAM

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Slimjr

May 2nd, 2012
3:02 pm

Hawks lost when they hired RICK SUND AND LARRY DREW!

45

Agree section 303, this series is ova….Celts in 5.. They have their brooms ready.. Sucks being a Hawks fan..

2058

Scoop

May 2nd, 2012
3:08 pm

@ All the blog people

Relax. We will be fine without Josh for one game. As long as LD doesn’t blow an 11 point lead late in the 3rd then we will win game 3 AND the series. BTW I put all of the blame on LD. Aside from his awful substitution patterns, what in the world was up with our 4th Q offense?????? It seemed like 10 possessions in a row consisted of Ivan Johnson with the ball and the shot clock running low(which would explain his poor shooting performance MC).

A portion of it does go to the players though. It’s been the question everyone has had about the Hawks since they’ve become a playoff team………can they handle the physicality of a playoff series. To be honest, they looked soft last night. All of them, with the exception of maybe Teague and Hinrich. Now, I understand that Boston got away with a lot of contact AND got every call on the other end. But sometimes you have to fight back if the officials aren’t going to call the game fairly. Fight fire with fire. I would have wanted to see somebody knock Paul Pierce on his backside, even if it means getting a flagrant. Obviously you never want to hurt anybody but we needed to send a message that were not going to let them manhandle us AND they did just that last night!

I don’t know if Joe got hurt, or he was tired, but in the 4th but it seemed like anytime he got the ball he would pass it like a hot potato. He needs to demand the ball in the 4th and especially when our offense was struggling like it was.

And Josh…..only 16 points on 21 SHOTS!!!!!!!! R U KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!! No wonder he took himself out of the game. And he was missing badly to. He was lucky he was 4-4 from the FT line or the numbers would be even worse.

Teague is the only guy on our team showing any kind of competitive fire. Enough with the calm and coolness. I want to see anger/fire.

LD is resembling Woodson in a lot of ways. The first adjustment I would have made last night is put Vlad in for some spacing. They are clogging the lane against Joe and having shooters around the perimeter will not only make it easier for Joe but make Bos think twice about their D.

Second, Josh if he is healthy needs to be playing the 5 spot against Bos down the stretch. I’m fine with starting Collins, but we need another shooter to spread the floor.

Finally, play TMAC!!!!!!!! We need a combo of Joe, TMAC, Marvin, and Josh on the floor. This will allow us to switch a lot of things so Pierce/Tebow can’t get those easy mid-range jumpers that he got so easily last game.

Somebody plz get in LD’s ear and relay these adjustments to him as he seems to have been asleep this whole series………

Glenn

May 2nd, 2012
3:11 pm

The way Josh was choking the second half of the second game, tossing moon shots and bricks, my guess his egos hurting more than his knee.

BIG DOG

May 2nd, 2012
3:11 pm

Big Lou – The Most idiotic statement , JUST DAM

What true statement have been made to the game it self, if you think your supposed play your starter 40mins or more a game you are the most idiotic person on this blog, you will have injurys all over the place Josh, Joe and Teague would be in grady Hospital.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

terrell

May 2nd, 2012
3:14 pm

“Im hoping for the best’. lol. Thats ALL your’re doing is hoping.

terrell

May 2nd, 2012
3:18 pm

‘It changes the MATCHUPS’. lmfao. So sick of that damn word.

[...] Check out the original source here. [...]

terrell

May 2nd, 2012
3:24 pm

“Offensively, we’re certainly going to have to do some thingss differently”. Um, like what? Iso Joe? Iso Duck butt? lol. Dumbazz wont play TMac, so I know he wasnt talking about him???

[...] thought — Hawks forward Josh Smith has a sprained left knee and is doubtful for Game 3 in Boston, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  A person with knowledge of the prognosis for Josh Smith said the Hawks forward is doubtful to [...]

High-sider

May 2nd, 2012
3:30 pm

Correction: “The last time I checked, Jamal Crawford averaged 15.0ppg vs. the Boston Celtics in the 2010-2011 regular season. The Hawks lost by seven [7] points last night to the Boston Celtics. You *add* it up; you do the math.