This much we know for sure — the Atlanta Hawks will not have All-Star swingman Joe Johnson Wednesday against the Knicks or Thursday against the Magic. He has returned to Atlanta to get an MRI on his knee, the team announced.
The next question — will he play in the All-Star Game on Sunday? Johnson was selected as a reserve by the coaches.
If the MRI confirms the original Hawks’ doctor’s diagnosis of tendonitis, then rest — and missing the game — seems the likely outcome. If it’s something more severe he is out for sure. I guess what we’re saying is he seems like he may sit this one out.
If he is out, don’t be shocked if teammate Josh Smith is selected in his place. He and Rajon Rondo were two obvious snubs in the East, and the league likely wants to make sure the Hawks are represented, so Smith seems the likely call.
So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.
The Knicks coach has deflected questions.
But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.
And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.
Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?
Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.
Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.
But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.
It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.