--Josh Smith wasn't surprised that all three of his injured teammates decided to play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night.In fact, he'd have been stunned if they didn't.
"All three of those guys have worked too hard to not be out there," Smith said of Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Marvin Williams. "If this was a regular-season situation, all three of them would probably have been held out. But this is the playoffs, man. It's do-or-die time. We all know it. They knew it. And they weren't going to let us go out there without them."
Hawks coach Mike Woodson didn't know until just before tipoff if all three would play. But he, too, was hopeful that they would all suit up.
"When your season is on the line you do whatever you have to do to get out there," Woodson said. "Those guys are warriors, all three of them. Nothing surprises me at this point with players and their competitive nature."
--With all the chips stacked against them Saturday, Woodson said he didn't have to resort to any fire-and-brimstone speeches before the game.
Instead, he reminded his team that whenever they'd been faced with a little adversity this season, they responded by playing some of their best and most intense basketball of the season.
"That's all I want them to do tonight and for the rest of this series," Woodson said. "It's easy for people to count you out when you're down and guys are hurting. That's when you look at the guy next to you in that locker room and make sure he knows that you've his back and he makes sure you know that he has yours. That's what this game is all about."
--Former Hawks general manager Billy Knight was on hand for Saturday's game. Knight watched the game from a luxury suite alongside his replacement, Rick Sund.
Knight said it was his first time attending a Hawks game since their Game 7 loss to Boston in last year's first-round series. Knight resigned two days after that game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Hopefully we'll be ready to play Monday." -- Hawks captain Joe Johnson on what people can expect from his team in Game 4.