Found May 02, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
There is a sign outside the Atlanta Hawks' locker room, large and bold and impossible to miss. It reads, "Talent wins games. Defense wins championships."
Unfortunately, for Larry Drew's limping squad, they head to Boston for Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs short of both.
The Celtics came back from an 11-point deficit to capture Game 2 in Atlanta and even the series 1-1, not because of Doc Rivers' inspirational coaching or superhuman basketball by any member of the team: they won because the Hawks don't have a big man and can't push the tempo for four solid quarters.
Al Horford should have been that guy, the solid presence underneath that added an invaluable dimension to the defense. But Horford has been, and will continue to be, out with a torn left pectoral muscle (which is as painful as it sounds).
Horford's replacement Zaza Pachulia is no two-time All Star, but he was once a dozen-points-a-night guy, so there was no great worry. Then Pachulia went down with the sprained foot (which is even more painful than it sounds).
Pachulia has been sidelined for more than three weeks and is listed as day-to-day. Even if he came back in Game 3 in Boston, there isn't much hope that Pachulia would be at full speed.
After the Game 1 win, Coach Drew didn't seem worried about going small. "I'm actually not that concerned at all, to be perfectly honest,'' Drew said. "We have played without both guys a number of times. Would we like to have them? Yes. But we've been able to play without them, and to have some success without them."
"Some success" meant lighting it up from outside and getting tons of transition baskets off the break. But if shooters like Joe Johnson and Josh Smith had a cold night, or if a team stopped the break and slowed the tempo, the Hawks struggled, as they did on Tuesday night.
Now, there is more bad news. Smith, who went down clutching his left knee in the fourth quarter of Game 2, has been diagnosed with a strained tendon. While it could have been much worse, a strained tendon in the knee can be as debilitating as a broken femur.
Smith is also listed as day-to-day, leaving the Hawks with Johnson, point guard Jeff Teague, and a cadre of role players who will likely struggle against a healthy and hungry Paul Peirce and Kevin Garnett.
"I'm very concerned about it," Drew said on Wednesday during a very short shoot-around and film session the team had at Philips Arena before leaving for Boston. "I know Josh is the kind of guy that if he's just hurting, he's going to play. He has that kind of toughness. But if it's a situation where he can't play, then he won't be out there."
And if he's not out there, the Hawks' chances of taking a game on the road in front of the always boisterous Celtics fans will fall from slim to dangerously skinny.
The situation isn't dire just yet. But dire is in the building. If Smith and Pachulia are both on the bench, the Celtics should roll through the rest of the series.
BEST OF MAXIM
BOSTON- The Atlanta Hawks are listing Josh Smith as doubtful for Game 3 of their playoff battle against the Celtics in Boston.
After the Celtics tied the series at one game apiece on Tuesday night in Atlanta, the Hawks are now struggling for answers as they now will be without Smith, Zaza Pachulia (foot) and Al Horford (pectoral). Smith’s official prognosis is that he has patellar...
ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has a strained tendon in his left knee and is day-to-day for the playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
Smith had an MRI on Wednesday morning, and the team revealed details of the injury a few hours later. It's not known if he'll be able to play in Game 3, which is Friday night in Boston.
Smith was injured in Atlanta...
ATLANTA There's nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. So when a cadre of boisterous Atlanta Hawks fans with cowbells and costumes ranging from wigs to Spider-Man masks began chanting "Where's Rondo," many in Philips Arena felt an uneasy sense of dread.
Sure, having Celtics' guard Rajon Rondo sitting at home after the NBA took exception to his extracurricular...
Here's an update on Hawks forward Josh Smith. I'll use my deductive reasoning abilities to say no limp = will play.
If Smith can't go, Marvin Williams and Tracy McGrady will see time at power forward, reports CBS Sports.
The real reason I'm posting this tweet is to poke fun at James Winfro, a delusional Hawks fan who thinks more time for Vladimir Radmanovic...
Just minutes into the first period of play during Tuesday night’s Hawks/Celtics game two showdown, Hawks power forward, Josh Smith attempts to get cute on a routine dunk and fails big time!
Shaking my head at you Mr. Smith.. Put the ball in the cup. It’s the playoffs!
Oh by the way…Jerry Stackhouse is still playing in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks, who are currently tied at a game a piece with the Boston Celtics in the 1st round of the NBA playoffs. I have to believe that his teammates must be loving that he picked the Heat to win it all. [...]
Kevin Garnett has a way of getting under his opponent's skin. It is part of his psychological warfare on his opponents. It has what has made him great and what has made him hated.
Ivan Johnson became a household name (sort of) after a big game on national TV. The TNT crew loved his tenacity and grit and the energy he brought to the game. Johnson is not someone who is going to...
Poor Hawks fans. They were so sure they were going to end the evening celebrating up 2-0 and ended up 1-1 and drunk. I think my favorite comment is this one: "The refs have been the leaders of the Celtic glee club. Maybe they're confused and think the C's are Miami?" Talk about grasping at straws. Not sure how they have the nerve to say that after that...
We know Joe Johnson gets most of the headlines, earns most of the All-Star appearances and makes most of the money. But Josh Smith is, to me, Atlanta’s best player and it’s not even close. Sure, he often tosses up one or two (or one or two dozen) ill-advised jump shots per game and he’s not particularly known as someone who brings consistency to the court each night. But...
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“We’ve got to establish him more,’’ Rivers said of Garnett. “We’ve got to get bodies off him. They’re putting bodies on him, knocking him around, and we’ve got to do a better job as a staff...
As any NBA fan will tell you, Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith is pretty good at dunking the basketball but even he isn't a immune to miss every now and again.Check out the below clip as Smith attempts a reverse jam in game two against the Boston Celtics that just doesn't go down:
And the red carpet rolling out for the Boston Celtics to reach the Eastern Conference continues to get longer. I’m not saying the Celtics will definitely make the ECF — the Hawks aren’t done yet and the Bulls would still be tough — but their path just keeps getting easier. Even if Smith returns in this series, one would have to think his impact will be diminished by this...
Boston Celtic guard Keyon Dooling was put in the very rarefied position of being posterized by a shot block bwo Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague last night.
Every time you check twitter or...
Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com
The Hawk announced today via Twitter that Josh Smith, who left with 4:20 left in the 4th quarter last night, has a sprained ligament in his left knee.
Atlanta's Josh Smith has a strained left tendon and his status is day-to-day.
If Smith is unavailable for Game 3, then we'll see a lot of more of Jason Collins and Ivan Johnson, which will allow the Celtics to clog...
ATLANTA -- On a night where he knew he would have to come up big, Paul Pierce poured in 36 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to power the Boston Celtics to an 87-80 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night. Despite being without guard Rajon Rondo, who was suspended for one game for bumping an official in Game 1, and Ray Allen, out with an ankle injury, the Celtics were able to...