Josh Smith’s sprained left knee is making the Atlanta Hawks’ job considerably harder, as they travel to Boston for games 3 and 4 of their first round Playoff series against the Celtics.
According to the AJC, there’s 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 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.”
Josh Smith hasn’t missed a single game this season for the Hawks, and his coach Larry Drew says that he would expect Smith to fight through injuries unless he absolutely couldn’t play.
If Josh Smith can’t play in Game 3, none of his potential replacements in Atlanta’s starting lineup — Ivan Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic — will inspire very much confidence in Hawks fans going forward.