Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith is struggling with some hip issues. It caused him to miss the fourth quarter of Friday night's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it will keep him out of at least one game.
The Hawks tweeted out his game status—along with several others.
ATLHawks) December 29, 2012
So, as you can tell, the injuries are beginning to mount for the surprising 18-9 Hawks. The tweet refers to shooting guard Anthony Morrow, who missed the second half of Friday's contest with hip issues of his own, and point guard Devin Harris, who is now set to miss his sixth straight game due to foot issues.
The injuries occurred at a bad time. The Hawks currently sit as the Eastern Conference's third seed, and they are two games better than fourth-seeded Indiana. It is still early in the season, but this game certainly is a big one for the Hawks.
Smith will be sorely missed. He is averaging 16.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this season, which makes him the team's leading scorer.
In Smith's absence, the Hawks still have a solid source of frontcourt scoring with Al Horford, who is averaging 15.7 points per game this season, but he is going to have little help to keep the double teams off of him without Smith on the floor.
Anthony Tolliver will likely pick up the majority of the minutes vacated by Smith. He took over in the fourth quarter on Friday and the 27-year-old wound up with a season high in points (13) in 20 minutes.
The good news for the Hawks is that Smith's injury does not figure to lead to an extended absence. Keep it locked to this page to find out how long it will keep him out as we will update it with the latest information available.