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Hawks’ Josh Smith sprains knee, questionable for Game 3

May 2, 2012, 8:46 AM EDT

Hawks forward Smith reacts after a shot in the first half during their game against the Celtics in Game One of their NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs basketball game in Atlanta Reuters

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

  1. mornelithe - May 2, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    That’s too bad, it’s been a pretty intense series between the two teams. I’ve enjoyed the competition with the Hawks, hopefully he won’t be out too long. Way to tough it out last night C’s, back to Boston!!!

    Go C’s!

  2. pglive21 - May 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Hawks are screwed if Smoove can’t get back healthy for the rest of the series. They’ve already been hit worse by injuries than pretty much any other playoff team. Top 3 frontcourt players out? With Smith they can credibly defend Garnett and not get dominated on the boards. With him out, that goes out the window.

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