The New York Knicks will be without Dennis Smith Jr. when they hit the road to take on the Brooklyn Nets this Thursday night.
The New York Knicks have announced that Dennis Smith Jr. will not play on Thursday night. The veteran is suffering from a strained left oblique and will sit for the upcoming matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.
Injury Report for tonight’s game at Brooklyn: Probable – Robinson (illness); Questionable – Morris Sr (sore left Achilles); Doubtful – Ellington (sore left Achilles); Out – Bullock (cervical disc herniation) and Smith Jr. (strained left oblique).
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) December 26, 2019
This has been a nightmare season for Smith Jr. thus far. He’s been in and out of the lineup with a variety of injuries, illnesses, and family matters. It’s likely contributed to career-worsts in numerous categories.
Smith Jr. has only played in 21 of the team’s 31 games this season. He’s playing a career-low number of minutes at just 16.1 per game. He’s additionally set career-lows in field goal percentage (32.5%), effective field goal percentage (37.3%), and free throw percentage (50%). To top it off, Smith Jr. is posting a career-low in points-per-36 minutes (11.6).
Needless to say, DSJ hasn’t been able to find any rhythm this year. Nevertheless, the Knicks coaches continue to give him chances. He’s been the first point guard off the bench all season, regardless of whether Elfrid Payton or Frank Ntilikina is in the starting lineup.
The latest injury could actually be a blessing in disguise for the Knicks. Both Payton and Ntilikina have outplayed Smith Jr. in the 2019-20 campaign. There’s not really any reason he should be on the floor for any length of time.
The number of minutes he’s playing despite the floundering numbers is likely caused by his status in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Smith Jr. was the prize this organization received in return, along with the two first-round picks.