Josh Smith is back on his feet after spending a week on crutches, the result of a left high ankle sprain he suffered in a Nov. 7 win over Toronto.Smith is wearing a walking boot and is eager to get back on the floor with his teammates after missing last week's four-game road trip and Saturday's game against New Jersey at Philips Arena.
"Watching those games on (television) was agonizing," Smith said. "We played great and handled our business on the trip. We should have beaten Boston and New Jersey, but that's the way it goes sometimes. The worst part, though, is having to watch."
Smith is officially listed as day-to-day. Although there's no clear-cut timetable for his return to the court, both he and Hawks coach Mike Woodson said the two to four weeks they expected him to be out stands. Smith wants to make it back as soon as possible.
"I might to get some red clay and vinegar and make it happen" he said laughing. "I just want to get out there and help my team out. That's the only thing on my mind right now is getting healthy and getting back out there to help these guys get our momentum back and keep that going."
The Hawks, losers of three straight after starting 6-0, could certainly use the boost.
NETS 119, HAWKS 107: That stifling pressure defense that drove to the Hawks to a magical 6-0 start this season got lost somewhere between Chicago and Boston during last week's road trip.
Counting Saturday's loss to New Jersey at Philips Arena, the Hawks' third consecutive defeat and second in two nights to the Nets, Atlanta has given up 100 or more points in four straight games.
The Nets shot 55 percent (38-for-69) from the floor and got monster performances from Devin Harris and Vince Carter for the second straight night in shredding the Hawks defense from all over the floor.
The Nets were even better from beyond the 3-point line, shooting 67 percent (12-for-18).
Unlike Friday night's road loss to the Nets, this one wasn't even close in the final 10 minutes.
"I have to give New Jersey credit," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said, repeating his line from the night before. "We had no answer for them from a defensive standpoint. We can't blame it on fatigue because we played (Friday) night as well. We have had a stretch of games in a short amount of time, seven in 11 days I believe, but that's still no excuse.
"We have lost some of our defensive swagger, intensity or whatever you want to call it."