Small Bite from the Injury Bug
Word is out that Joe Johnson did not travel with the team for tonight’s game in New Jersey, and while it hasn’t officially been ruled out that he could join the team for Wednesday’s game in Toronto, it certainly isn’t likely. Joe is battling a sore Achilles’ and Mike Bibby is also questionable (back).
Three things worth noting:
1) The Hawks have been extremely blessed with good health this season. They have only had 15 games missed due to injury this season (yes, that is a stat), while the second lowest team total at the All-Star break was 32 (Minnesota). Atlanta has only had two games where they missed one of their top-six. Marvin missed a game in December against New Jersey and Jamal missed a February game against Miami.
2) Adversity builds character and creates opportunity for others to “step up” and take on a bigger role. Last season Marvin averaged 26 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two games Joe missed (both Hawks wins). Williams got to the line 34 times in two games as Atlanta used him as the primary option on the offensive end.
3) If you are going to have issues with injuries, this is pretty good timing. The Nets are 2-8 over their last ten games, while the Raptors are 1-9. It is also safe to say that the Hawks have matched up well with these teams so far this season. They enter tonight 4-0 with and average winning margin of 26.5 points (126.5-100).
Finally, don’t be surprised if Coach Woodson plugs Mo Evans into the starting line-up and keeps Crawford as the spark off the bench. Evans was 18-7 as a starter last season (18-6 if you discount the season finale where many of the regulars rested).