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.”
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.