It will be difficult for the Atlanta Hawks to win many games this year without one of their top players.
UPDATE: Wednesday, November 7 at 11:07 a.m. ET
Josh Smith will play vs. Pacers. #ATLHawks— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) November 7, 2012
UPDATE: Wednesday, November 7 at 10:27 a.m. ET
Josh Smith is currently a game-time decision for tonight's game against the Pacers, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore.
Smith was a 'limited' participant in practice Tuesday. Coach Larry Drew said the forward is still listed as day-to-day and a decision on his status for Wednesday’s game against the Pacers has not been determined.
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UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 1:05 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Smith returned to practice today after missing yesterday's session with a sprained ankle, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Josh Smith (sprained ankle) taking part in Hawks practice. #ATLHawks— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) November 6, 2012
The Hawks' next game comes on Wednesday against the Pacers. While he update didn't provide any news on his playing status for that contest, getting back on the court for practice is a step in the right direction. A lot will depend on how he feels after testing the ankle.
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UPDATE: Monday, November 5 at 12:45 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
The Hawks are not getting great news regarding the status of Josh Smith's ankle in preparation for Wednesday's game against Indiana.
According to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith is not practicing with the team.
Josh Smith (sprained right ankle) not taking part in Hawks practice. Working on side. #ATLHawks— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) November 5, 2012
Smith had to sit out Sunday's game against Oklahoma City, which the Hawks were able to win 104-95.
Sprained ankles are not something a basketball player can just get through. You have to cut and plant, so this could take time before Smith is able to get back to his old self.
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#ATLHawks Injury Report: Johan Petro (lower back) and Josh Smith (right ankle sprain suffered vs. Rockets) - Neither will travel to OKC— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) November 3, 2012
The small forward sprained his ankle in the first game of the season against the Houston Rockets and his return date is unknown
Smith had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the team's opening loss and will be missed greatly if the injury keeps him out for a long duration.
After losing Joe Johnson in a trade during the offseason, Smith is the now Hawks' leading scorer. He also led the squad with 9.6 rebounds and 1.74 blocks per game during the 2011-12 season.
While someone like Louis Williams can come off the bench and make up for some of the lost scoring, the frontcourt becomes incredibly weak without Smith on the floor. The Hawks already had a small lineup, and Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia cannot play the entire game.
Without Smith, Atlanta also loses veteran experience and leadership. Although he is only 26, this is his eighth year with the team and his consistency has been a big part of the team's success over the years.
Hopefully for the Hawks, the injury is less severe than initially anticipated and the forward will be able to return to the team before long.
Check back for more updates as they are announced.