Add Jamal Crawford to the ranks of the walking wounded. The Atlanta Hawks announced that the NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year will not dress for Atlanta's Thursday TNT showdown against the Boston Celtics. He has a sore back.
Crawford becomes the fourth player with a bit of star power that may not have a chance to shine on TNT. Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal will miss his fourth straight game with a right calf injury. Hawks guard Joe Johnson returned to practice, but is nowhere ready to return after undergoing right elbow surgery.
And then there's the case of Rajon Rondo. The talented Boston Celtics point guard left Wednesday night's epic 118-116 win over the New York Knicks with a sprained left ankle. He is optimistic that he will suit up for this one, but Boston may rest him in a modicum of caution.
It's not like the Celtics exactly needed Rondo the last time these two teams met. He was hurt then, too. Boston rolled to a 99-76 win over Atlanta anyway. Boston has won 11 straight entering this TNT telecast, while the Hawks have split their last 20 games.