Hawks suspend Josh Smith for game against Nets

Atlanta Hawks small forward Josh Smith shoots past

Atlanta Hawks small forward Josh Smith shoots past the defense of New Orleans Hornets small forward Lance Thomas during the second quarter. (Jan. 1, 2013) (Credit: AP)

ATLANTA -- Joe Johnson never got a chance to slap hands with his buddy Josh Smith Wednesday and renew acquaintances.

Smith, the Hawks' talented forward, was suspended by coach Larry Drew for one game for conduct detrimental to the team, forcing him to miss Johnson's Atlanta reunion Wednesday night. Drew said there was an incident at practice on Tuesday that led to his decision, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Smith was actually thrown out of practice.

"I really don't want to put too much focus on it," Drew said. "I spoke about it this morning. We're trying to really just focus on the Brooklyn Nets. Tomorrow we'll bring Josh back with open arms and we'll be moving forward."

In a statement, Smith apologized for letting the team and the fans down, saying the he was frustrated by the Hawks' struggles.

"Josh is a talented player," Drew said. "He's a big part of what we do. He's a guy that we count on and rely on within what we do.

"Hopefully, he'll be a Hawk for a long time."

Wallace returns

After sitting out the previous two games with bruised ribs, Gerald Wallace got back into the mix against the Hawks, though he wasn't in the starting lineup.

Wallace checked in late in the first quarter, and given he didn't have a lot of physical activity the past few days, P.J. Carlesimo didn't want to push him too much, especially with Wallace's hard-nosed style. Wallace scored four points in 15 minutes.

"That's Gerald," he said. "That's probably a little something to do why they call him 'Crash.' But he only knows one way to play and you've got to trust him."

 

Net-cetera

The league announced the Nets' Feb. 24 home game against the Grizzlies has been moved from a 3:30 p.m. start to 7 p.m. so it can be televised on ESPN.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NBA video

advertisement | advertise on newsday