Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith could be inactive for Game 3 on Friday after suffering a knee injury late in the fourth quarter of Game 2 on Tuesday.
After an interview with head coach Larry Drew, Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s tweeted:
L. Drew on J. Smith: “He doesn’t have a limp which is a good sign. We are prepared to move fwd if we don’t have him but hope we do.”
Smith hasn’t worked out since Tuesday but plans to test out the knee during Friday’s shootaround.
“I have a high threshold for pain,” Smith said. “If I feel like I can go a little bit I’m going to step out on the floor.”
Coach Drew knows his player all too well.
“I’m very concerned about it,” Drew told the AP. “I know Josh is a 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.”
J. Smoove underwent an MRI on Wednesday and it was officially concluded that he had a strained tendon in his left knee. Atlanta listed him as day-to-day and it’s unknown if he will be able to play in Game 3 on Friday night.
“He’s just been so good for us,” Drew said. “He’s certainly a key component in order for us to have success. Obviously, we already have both centers out, and now we’re looking at our starting power forward possibly being injured. These type of situations have been happening to us all year. We’ve been kind of snake-bit, but we’re just hoping for the best.”
The center’s Drew alluded to are all-star Al Horford and back-up Zaza Pachulia. Horford has been out since mid-January following left pectoral surgery and has already been ruled out for this first round against Boston while Pachulia has been out since April 13 with a sprained left foot.
Atlanta has dealt with a series of injuries this year as seven players have missed a total of 148 games this regular-season because of injury or illness. Despite all the bad luck, the Hawks still managed to post the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
The only healthy big men Atlanta have left on their roster now are third-string center and 11-year veteran Jason Collins, fourth-stringer and 15-year veteran Erick Dampier and back-up rookie power forward Ivan Johnson.
Collins has started since Pachulia went down nearly three weeks ago including getting the nod in both playoff games thus far while Dampier has only played in two games since March 19.