Mar 19, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) blocks a shot by Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith (5) during the second half at Philips Arena. Boston won 79-76. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Atlanta's Josh Smith will not play in Game 3 against Boston tonight, league source tells Y! "Knee is just too ... m.tmi.me/ptBZE— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 4, 2012
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Josh Smith and his sore knee will sit out Game 3. He's been a bear on the boards and exhausting the Celtics frontline, but Boston has done a very good job on him defensively. Over half of his shots (21-41) are outside of 16 feet where he's shooting under 30%. Doc has been worried that if Josh Smith's jumper got hot, it would open up the lane for the likes of Teague and Joe Johnson.
With Smith out tonight and looking at a Game 4 return on Sunday, you can guess that Doc will load up defensively on the perimeter and force Atlanta to go one-on-one against some of the league's toughest wing defenders in Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus. Don't be surprised to see Marquis and Pavlovic in the game either. I have a hunch that Doc may employ the deep bench again with the Hawks shorthanded and we might see hockey-style line changes. That will hopefully preserve some energy for PP on the offensive end, and ahem, Ray Allen. At the time of this posting, there has been no indication that Ray's ankles have swollen up after yesterday's practice or today's shootaround. I can't help but be giddy right now.