Josh Smith is probably the Hawks most important player and much of his effectiveness is directly tied to his amazing athleticism. So clearly losing him would be devastating to Atlanta and if he's limited physically that doesn't bode well for them either.
Atlanta's Josh Smith has sprained patella ligament in knee, source tells Y! "He walked out of arena w/ no help, just gingerly," source says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 2, 2012
Smith will have an MRI exam on Wednesday in Atlanta.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 2, 2012
He's got a couple of days to rest before game 3. I'm even less of a Doctor than Doc Rivers, but if he's walking out of the arena I wouldn't rule him out of the series any time soon.
It appeared the knee had been bothering him for much of the fourth quarter, especially on a layup try at the 5:14 mark that he missed, but Smith may have aggravated whatever injury he had in a collision with Kevin Garnett just before he checked out. Television replays showed his knee giving a bit after Garnett bumped into him with 4:40 left, and 20 seconds later he was in the locker room and done for the night. This one isn't in Rose-Shumpert territory -- Smith walked off the court and left the arena under his own power -- but even a lesser injury would likely eliminate Smith for the rest of this series, and that in turn would effectively end any threat Atlanta posed to the Celtics.