Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Atlanta Hawks

Joe Johnson day-to-day with thumb injury

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Joe Johnson suffered a sprained thumb in the Hawks’ playoff-clinching win over the Nets Saturday night and will miss Sunday’s game in Cleveland at least while being evaluated. Afterwards, Johnson was pretty clear on the fact he wouldn’t be rushing back from injury this late in the season, especially after clinching the playoffs.

“Maybe if it was my left hand it would be a lot different. But we have got to look at the bigger picture. We have got to be healthy as possible going into the playoffs.”

via Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 98, Nets 87 | Atlanta Hawks.

X-rays were taken at the game last night, though results weren’t provided, which you assume to mean they were negative. Johnson may receive an MRI. Considering the amount of pain Johnson was in when the injury first occurred, you have to be at least a little concerned about the possible results. For the Hawks, losing Johnson isn’t the worst thing in the world at this point. That’s why they have Jamal Crawford, and they have one of the most efficient players in basketball in Al Horford, who doesn’t receive enough touches as it is.

The Hawks need to use the remaining time to figure out not only how healthy they can be for the playoffs, but how to make some noise so their appearance doesn’t just seem meaningless.


Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.