ATLANTA Last year the Atlanta Hawks went into the NBA playoffs minus All-Star center Al Horford for the first few games.
The Hawks are ahead of the game in that respect, as they travel to take on Indiana in Game 1 on Sunday, but their situation in terms of injuries remains less than ideal.
Were not as healthy as I want to be, coach Larry Drew said. We got some guys nicked up, banged up. We have some guys going through kind of a healing process but this is a time of year when everybody s like that.
One of the reasons why the Hawks might have ended up as the Eastern Conferences No. 6 seed and playing the Pacers was because of the care that Drew and the players had to exercise to make sure they were ready for the postseason. The Hawks, who finished just a game behind Chicago for the fifth seed, lost their last two games as they rested a number of key players.
Leading scorer Josh Smith sat out two of the Hawks final five games and played but 13 minutes (22 below his average) in t...