--G Joe Johnson's feeling better. How much better, though, remains to be seen. The Hawks' captain and All-Star missed his second straight game with a viral infection Friday night when his teammates battled Charlotte at Time Warner Cable Arena.He could miss his third straight game Saturday night when the Hawks host the Los Angeles Clippers at Philips Arena.
"I talked to Joe (Thursday night) and he said he feels a little bit better," coach Mike Woodson said. "We'll just gauge it from there."
Johnson's struggles in January look totally different to Woodson now that it's become clear that Johnson's fatigue might not have been more physical than anything else.
"He could have been sick and didn't realize it because he had a lethargic look about him," Woodson said. "So he could have been. And I was steady wearing him out and wearing him down with minutes.
"But my whole thing with the minutes and everybody talking about him playing too many, I was just trying to push for him to make that All-Star team. Because that to me, was extremely important for Joe, for our team and for our entire organization."
--There was no formal invitation extended, but one-time slam-dunk winner Josh Smith was asked if he was interested in joining this year's field in Phoenix. Smith said while flattered, he passed, for a variety of reasons.
"First and foremost, I'm just not healthy enough for something like that," he said. "You have to be at your best to compete in something like that. All-Star Weekend is actually a chance to rest your body for a few days and get totally away from everything before recharging and getting ready for the second half push."
Smith missed 12 games earlier this year with a high ankle sprain. He insisted that he's not experiencing any lingering effects, but that he simply hasn't been "the same" since going down in the fourth games of the season.
--F Marvin Williams already has his All-Star Weekend schedule set. He'll head home to Bremerton, Wash., where his high school jersey will be retired at halftime during one of his younger brother's basketball games.
"It's an honor, of course, any time somebody wants to retire your jersey," Williams said. "It will be a fantastic weekend, getting a chance to see my family and then getting my jersey retired in front of all the people that have supported me all these years."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The man needs the rest. Nobody should rush him back." -- F Josh Smith, on allowing G Joe Johnson to return on a timetable that he sees fit.