Joe Johnson has been shut down by the Hawks at least through the weekend after he played through some pain in his left knee on Wednesday. Johnson has been dealing with tendinitis for at least the past few weeks, and his shooting numbers are way down going as far back as February 8 (38% FG, 22% 3PT, 1.5 FTA in eight games since). He hasn't been assigned a timetable but has been declared out for the Hawks' weekend back-to-back (Fri MIL, Sat OKC). He'll be reevaluated on Monday, before the team embarks on a six-game, nine-day road trip. Count on the team exercising plenty of caution here - March is particularly busy for the Hawks, with six sets of back-to-backs and a back-to-back-to-back coming within the next 30 days [schedule], and the lingering issues here are most certainly something to be concerned about. Willie Green is also out for the next two games with back spasms, so we should a lot more playing time than usual for Kirk Hinrich, Tracy McGrady, and Jannero Pargo in the short-term.
• Status updates: Dirk Nowitzki (back) has declared himself pain-free and expects to be a full go on Friday .. Lakers on Friday: Kobe Bryant (neck) didn't practice Thursday but is expected to play; Andrew Bynum says his knee feels fine .. Chris Bosh (personal) is expected to be out again Friday, and his status for Sunday has yet to be determined .. Manu Ginobili (oblique) will be a game-time decision on Friday .. Kyrie Irving missed morning shootaround because of illness and will be a game-time decision .. Stephen Curry (foot) won't start Friday but has yet to be officially rule out .. Jazz on Friday: both Paul Millsap (heel) and Devin Harris (illness) are expected to play .. Richard Hamilton hasn't had any issues since returning to the lineup but the team will continue to actively limit his minutes .. Danilo Gallinari (ankle) is hopeful that he'll be able to return on Monday .. Nets on Friday: Deron Williams (foot) and Kris Humphries (calf) will play, Jordan Farmar (groin) will be a game-time decision .. Trevor Ariza (illness) is out Friday .. Andrea Bargnani (calf) has scaled up his workouts a bit but needs full practices before a return is a consideration. Speculation here is that next Saturday is his first logical target .. Nick Young has no structural damage in his knee but will not play on Saturday .. Bismack Biyombo (shoulder) is a game-time decision .. A non-update update on Wilson Chandler: he remains in negotiations with the Nuggets.
• Scanning the Buzz Index leaders: J.R. Smith's shooting numbers have been poor, without a doubt (40% FG, 22% 3PT, 50% FT). But his minutes (26), shot attempts (10 FGA, 5.4 3PA), and steals average (2) all say that he's still got as much potential as we figured coming in, because those percentages certainly won't stay that low .. Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) is out for the next two weeks with an injury that will "eventually" require surgery and doesn't appear likely to get his starting job back at any point. Add Brandon Bass with confidence .. Grant Hill has been picking things up in his "doesn't hurt you anywhere" way, averaging 14 points on 49-percent shooting, 83-percent foul shooting, 4 boards, 3.3 assists, and 1.6 steals-plus-blocks in 33 minutes over the past seven games. Hill is feeling healthier and Alvin Gentry has responded by giving him more minutes as the season has progressed .. Marcus Camby averaged 13.6 boards, 1.4 steals, and 2.9 blocks in 27 minutes during an eight-game stretch from January 24 to February 6. He's averaged 7.8 boards, 0.6 steals, and 1.2 block in 22 minutes in his other 25 games, and Joel Przybilla is now on board. It's time to move on (60% owned) .. Kendrick Perkins has been doing his best "good" Camby impression over the past five games (31 minutes, 4.6 points, 10.8 boards, 2.2 blocks), but his typical efficiency hit (44% FG, 64% FT, 2.2 turnovers in February) essentially cancels out his positives.
• Week 18 Schedule Grid
Games remaining, through end of NBA season (April 26):
32 - GSW
31 - CHA, CLE, IND, LAC
30 - BOS, UTA, WAS
29 - ATL, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, NOR, NYK, OKC, PHO, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR
28 - DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, MIN, NJN, ORL, PHO
27 - CHI
Games remaining, through end of default h2h playoffs (Week 23, April 9-15):
25 - BOS, GSW, IND, LAC, UTA
24 - CHA, CLE, LAL, POR, SAC, TOR, WAS
23 - ATL, DAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, NJN, NOR, NYK, OKC, PHO
22 - DEN, CET, HOU, MIA, ORL
21 - CHI, PHI, SAS
Programming note: Weekly schedule information will be included in Friday Court Reports moving forward.