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Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Joe Johnson pulled out of the NBA All-Star Game over the weekend with a sore knee and was replaced by Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. As the NBA teams get back to the regular-season grind this week, it appears the injury will not keep Johnson out of the Hawks lineup for long, if at all.
Nubyjas Wilborn of 1500 ESPN Radio reported on Tuesday that Johnson took part in a full practice and full contact drills with the team. Zack Klein at WSB followed up later in the day that Hawks head coach Larry Drew stated Johnson would be a game time decision for Wednesday's game against the visiting Golden State Warriors.
Drew also stated that Zaza Pachulia would be a game time decision against the Warriors. Pachulia was icing his left calf following practice.
For all news and information regarding Joe Johnson, Zaza Pachulia and all things Atlanta Hawks, please visit Peachtree Hoops.
The Atlanta Hawks have overcame a nice bit of adversity so far through the first half of the season. Injuries, new players and a lack of practice hasn't prevented the Hawks from having success, as their 20-14 record has them positioned as the 6th-best team in the competitive Eastern conference.
The Hawks did well after the loss of Al Horford for the remainder of the season, as players like Jeff Teague and Zaza Pachulia stepped up admirably. However, over the long haul one must ask if head coach Larry Drew can keep the Hawks on the uptick. Atlanta was just 4-8 in the month of February and the schedule doesn't get any easier as games versus Oklahoma City and Miami loom in the next five games.
Here are the updated conference standings through the first half of the season.
|New York Knicks||35||17-18||.486|
|New Jersey Nets||35||10-25||.286|
Thanks to a knee injury for Joe Johnson and Josh Smith getting the All-Star snub not once but twice, the Atlanta Hawks won't be represented Sunday night during the NBA All-Star Game. Johnson had become somewhat of a staple in the game having appeared in the game the last five seasons and getting the start in the 2010 game.
Even without an Atlanta representative, the game will be a star-studded affair with the likes of LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony leading the East squad against Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant and the rest of the West squad. The Western Conference took home the victory last season by a score of 148-143.
Game date/time: Sunday, February 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
NBA All-Star games are typically a lot of one on one plays, show off moves, and very little defense. The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge was no difference as there were alley-oop dunks and massive blocks through out the game. It was Team Chuck who was victorious in Friday night's game against Team Shaq 146-133.
The Cleveland Cavilers were represented well as Kyrie Irving lead Team Chuck in scoring with 36 points and was 8-of-8 from three-point range, and Tristan Thompson led Team Shaq with 20 points in a losing effort.
Georgia Tech product Derrick Favors who was an injury replacement player scored 14 points and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
In addition to the great plays in All-Star games there are also the plays that go horribly wrong and here is one of those in form of a GIF, this one involves MarShon Brooks failing miserably on a dunk attempt.
Via SB Nation.
The NBA rookie-sophomore game has a different twist than in years past. Instead of having rookies play sophomores there was a draft where the 18 players were drafted by TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'neil. This did provide some extra excitement to the game.
Local product Derrick Favors who played high school in Atlanta and then with Georgia Tech was added as an injury replacement and is on Team Chuck.
Here are the rosters for the game:
Blake Griffin, LA Clippers
Jeremy Lin, NY Knicks
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Landry Fields, NY Knicks
Norris Cole, Miami Heat
Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
MarShon Brooks, NJ Nets
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs (out with injury)
Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz
Game date/time: Friday, Feb. 24, 9 p.m. ET
For more on the NBA All-Star weekend check out SB Nation's dedicates All-Star StoryStream.
Derrick Favors, currently of the Utah Jazz and formerly of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, has been chosen to play in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, part of the NBA All-Star Weekend of events in Orlando.
For those of you who've forgotten Favors' time in Atlanta, here's a quick reminder from the Georgia Tech web site:
Favors, the No. 1 prep player in the nation in 2009 out of South Atlanta High School, played at Tech in the 2009-10 season and helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the finals of the ACC Tournament and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 12.4 point and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal will serve as the general managers the two teams, comprised of a mix of rookies and sophomores.
While Hawks fans have little to look forward to on All-Star weekend, Tech will have a strong showing: Favors joins Chris Bosh (2002-03), who is a reserve in the All-Star Game, and Anthony Morrow (2005-08) is playing in the Three-Point Contest, while Iman Shumpert (2009-11) was going to compete in the Dunk Contest until an injury forced him out.
Rondo will be the replacement for Joe Johnson on the All-Star team. Hasn't been announced yet, but hey, that's what Twitter's for I guess.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) February 22, 2012
As a result, Atlanta will not have a representative in the All-Star Game for the first time since they acquired Johnson from the Phoenix Suns.
Rondo's selection gives the Boston Celtics, who are currently in 8th place in the East with a 15-16 record and a +1.4 point differential, two representatives in the All-Star Game.
For the latest news and notes on the Hawks, head over to Peachtree Hoops.
The Hawks All-Star will take the weekend off to rest his sore knee and get ready for the second half of the season.
The Atlanta Hawks announced guard Joe Johnson is undergoing a MRI on his injured left knee, and that he'll be out for two games, instead of just one. That would mean no game against the New York Knicks or Orlando Magic, but it would mean he'd get more than an entire week's worth of rest, thanks to the All-Star Game. That's if he ends up not playing, at least, as Zach Klein reports is a possibility:
#hawks Joe Johnson is out next 2-gms w/sore left knee. Nothing is official, but I'm hearing he's pulling out of All-Star gm— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 21, 2012
If Johnson were to sit, that could open the door for Josh Smith to make his first All-Star Game appearance. Johnson would also miss the Three-Point Contest and that one weird drill where old players and WNBA players also participate.
For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops.
Atlanta's Joe Johnson is doubtful for Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks with tendinitis in his left knee.
One of the many events of the NBA's All-Star Weekend is the Haier Shooting Stars competition, in which three-member teams composed of current players from both the NBA and the WNBA as well as former players face off against each other in a shooting competition. The All-Star game is being played in Orlando this season and Orlando has their own team, but Atlanta has a team competing in the Shooting Stars tournament as well along with Texas and New York.
Team Atlanta is composed of current Hawks guard Joe Johnson, who is playing in his sixth All-Star game, Lindsey Harding, a member of the Atlanta Dream, the WNBA's reigning Eastern Conference champions, and Steve Smith, a former All-Star with the Hawks in 1998 and a member of the 2003 NBA Championship winning Spurs.
There are six numbered shooting locations of increasing difficulty, with each team attempting to make all shots in numeric order in the fastest time. Each team will select a specific player rotation to follow throughout the competition. Each shot must be made before the next player begins shooting in succession. Teams have up to two minutes to complete the entire shooting course and the team that completes all six shots in the least amount of time is declared the winner. In the case of a tie, a shoot-off will be used to determine the winner.
If Atlanta wins, they will be the first city to have a repeat champion. Team Atlanta won in 2011 with Steve Smith, Atlanta Dream star Coco Miller and the Hawks' Al Horford.
Josh Howard's not trying to say the NBA All-Star selection process is political, but uh, actually that's exactly what he's saying:
As we've noted earlier, Smith certainly put up All-Star like numbers (15.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 steals and two blocks per game for 17-9 Atlanta, a club relevant in the playoff race this season). Peachtree Hoops blogger Kris Willis speculates Smith's problems on the All-Star campaign trail start with NBA coaches - not player or fans:
Smith is likely to be a player branded for the things he doesn't do right rather than the things he does. The parts of his game that are right are enough to get him into this discussion, to place him fourth among Eastern power forwards this season, but coaches will likely always see the bad in Smith's game and choose to punish him or at best not reward him. It's not enough that Smith is at the level he is -- to get their vote, he must realize all he possibly could be.
Update ... Complete All-Star Game rosters here
Adrian WojnarowskiAtlanta's Joe Johnson has been selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves, league sources tell Y! Sports. 23 minutes ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto
Johnson leads the Hawks in scoring and has averaged 18.6 points per game this season. The other player that had a shot at being named to the All-Star reserves was forward Josh Smith.
The official NBA announcement of who is on the NBA All-Star reserves is tonight at 7 p.m. (ET) on TNT.
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith and guard Joe Johnson could be named to the NBA All-Star Reserves tonight on TNT at 7 p.m. (ET).
Edit ... Complete All-Star Game rosters here.