Joe Johnson suffered a sprained thumb while battling New Jersey's Anthony Morrow for a rebound early in the third quarter of last night's victory over the Nets. According to the Hawks PR department, Johnson did not travel with the team last night to Cleveland for today's game. X-Rays were negative but Johnson will remain behind in Atlanta for treatment and is listed as questionable going forward.
The most likely scenario for coach Larry Drew is to insert Jeff Teague into the starting lineup with Kirk Hinrich sliding over to the shooting guard. However, there has been no announcement about tonight's starting lineup as of yet. While Johnson was out earlier this season with an elbow injury, Marvin Williams started at the shooting guard spot with Jason Collins entering the starting lineup. Drew perhaps could even toy with the idea of starting Jamal Crawford in an effort to help him find a rhythm that he has been without for most of this season. No matter who starts, expect to see minutes for Jeff Teague once again and maybe Damien Wilkins as the Hawks deal with Johnson's absence.
Johnson is averaging 18.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game for the Hawks this season. His scoring average is the lowest for his career while in Atlanta.