It wasn’t a pretty start to the season for the Hawks on Friday, and things aren’t likely to get better when the team next takes the floor in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Josh Smith has been ruled out for the Hawks’ road game against the Thunder due to an ankle sprain. He won’t even make the trip, the team says, and neither will backup center Johan Petro, who’s still recovering from a back injury.
The Hawks said that Smith sustained the injury during Friday’s loss to the Rockets, though he didn’t seem to show any signs of it while posting 18 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocked shots in 43 minutes of action.
Houston had its way with the Hawks — as if James Harden’s career-high 45 points wasn’t destructive enough, Atlanta was crushed on the boards, getting out-rebounded 58-36, while giving up a ridiculous 23 offensive rebounds in the process.
Atlanta is probably looking at more minutes from Zaza Pachulia in Smith’s absence, along with possibly some run from Ivan Johnson. Beyond that, there just aren’t any other frontcourt options available on this Hawks team’s roster.