May 2, 2012, 8:46 AM EDT
The Hawks have enough trouble after a Celtics team without Rajon Rondo evened the series Tuesday night, now they may have to go without one of their two best players.
Josh Smith left the court with 4:20 remaining after a collision with Kevin Garnett (video is below) and did not return. While this is not a Derrick Rose-like blowout, it is a sprain Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo tweeted.
Atlanta’s Josh Smith has sprained patella ligament in knee, source tells Y! “He walked out of arena w/ no help, just gingerly,” source says.
This would be a blow for the Hawks — he had 16 points and 12 boards in Game 2, and the Hawks were down 2 with the ball when he left the game but fell apart after and lost by 7. Smith is the key to the Hawks getting points and rebounds in the paint, providing some balance on offense. If he cannot go Atlanta loses a major weapon.
The Hawks are already without the best big man in Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia is hoping to return later in this series. Without Smith the Hawks will give Boston a steady diet of Jason Collins and Ivan Johnson. That will not be enough against Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass.
Video via @Jose3030
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