The Hawks, despite losing two in a row to the Knicks and Bobcats, are very quietly sitting at 34-28 in the upper crust of Eastern Conference playoff teams. That hasn’t stopped the drama though, evidenced by the reported clash between Josh Smith and Mike Woodson during halftime of last night’s game against Charlotte.
Just when things seem to be going really well, something like this happens. From Sekou Smith in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
What began as a promising week in Washington got downright nasty in Charlotte on Friday night after turning ugly in New York on Wednesday night.
The Hawks lost their second consecutive game to a sub-.500 opponent, dropping a 98-91 decision to the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.
They also lost more ground in the race for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Their lead over Miami is now just a half a game.
And Hawks coach Mike Woodson benched starting power forward Josh Smith after halftime, the result of a heated disagreement between the two in the locker room during the break.
Smith refused to comment after the game, and Woodson said it was a “coach’s decision” and that Smith’s status for tonight’s game against Detroit would be determined later.
“That was coach’s call,” Hawks captain Joe Johnson said. “This is coach’s team. Whoever he wants to play plays, and if he doesn’t want you to play, you don’t play.”
Smith had 13 points, four rebounds and two blocks before leaving the game after playing only 21 minutes. But whatever transpired in the time it took the Hawks to get in and out of the locker room after halftime, changed everything.
This isn’t the first time these two have had issues and we’ve actually heard in the past from sources close to the team and players that most of the roster doesn’t care much for Woodson because of the all the offensive attention and leeway given to Joe Johnson.