Josh Smith Injury Could Doom Hawks?
The Hawks were 90 percent of the way to being 90 percent there.
Up 11, at home, late in the third quarter against a reeling Celtics team missing its two backcourt stars, Atlanta was closing in on a 2-0 series lead … an advantage that leads to a series win 94 percent of the time, historically.
And then, a dramatic reversal. The Hawks lost the lead and then their star forward and then the game, and now they’re hanging on for dear life in the series after Boston rallied for an 87-80 win in Game 2. Game 3 will be Friday in Boston.
But hold off on the talk about the game for a minute, because a potentially much bigger issue for the rest of this series is the state of Josh Smith. The Atlanta forward again filled the stat sheet with 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists but left the game with a sprained left knee with 4:20 to go and the Hawks trailing by two.
It appeared the knee had been bothering him for much of the fourth quarter, especially on a layup try at the 5:14 mark that he missed, but Smith may have aggravated whatever injury he had in a collision with Kevin Garnett just before he checked out. Television replays showed his knee giving a bit after Garnett bumped into him with 4:40 left, and 20 seconds later he was in the locker room and done for the night.