Eastern Notes: Smith Jr., Hill, Hornets, Heat

Pistons guard Dennis Smith Jr. has looked reborn during his time with the team so far, proving to be reasonably effective in his first nine games, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes.

Smith, who was traded to Detroit from New York earlier this month, has averaged 7.9 points and 3.2 assists in 18.6 minutes per contest since the move. The two teams are set to meet on Sunday night from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

“Truth be told, you never want to get too comfortable because you end up being complacent,” Smith said. “But you can definitely tell when the feel for the game starts to comes back, especially from the situation I was coming from. I can feel my feel coming back for me.”

There’s more from the Eastern Conference today:

  • Hawks forward Solomon Hill said the Heat never made an offer to retain him in free agency, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Hill, who wound up signing a one-year deal with Atlanta, has averaged 4.5 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 18.9 MPG in 33 games this season.
  • The Hornets are set to be without several players for their game against the Kings on Sunday night, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. Gordon Hayward (right hand contusion) and Cody Zeller (left hip contusion) have both been downgraded to doubtful. Their absences would leave the club with just nine available players for the contest due to various injuries, Bonnell notes.
  • One of the Heat‘s top “bubble lineups” is finally back in place, Barry Jackson writes for The Miami Herald. The team has won five straight contests and is working to bounce back from a COVID- and injury-riddled start to the season, playing the 14-19 Hawks on Sunday night.
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8 thoughts on “Eastern Notes: Smith Jr., Hill, Hornets, Heat

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Smith has been playing well since starting. Had a big gm against Kings. Didn’t have good gm tonight against Knicks. Wish him the best he has his opportunity now. Go and get it young man.
    Can’t believe Knicks are over .500 today. Rebuild rebuild rebuild it’s all about rebuilding. Heat are starting to win now. I see Celtics and Heat getting their act right. Knicks make move we can fight for 6th seed maybe. Imo there will be a fight for 7-10 seeds in east. Knicks probably in that.

    • andremets

      It’s funny cause I remember reading from fans in the off-season that there was no way the Knicks could be better than teams like the Magic, Pacers and Hawks…

      • x%sure

        Some disliked Thibs even more, or as the reason why predict the Nix down, but he was always a fine hire.
        The teams are all bunched together in the EC though.

    • Norm Chouinard

      He was a pest defensively tonight and got some good looks for his teammates. Still can’t shoot. This would have been one of his better games if he was still a nik.

      • buttholesurfer69

        I was a fan of DSJ when he was drafted and think there’s a possibility he could maybe revive his career

        But like you said he still can’t shoot, 38% in DET I think.

        But he could play himself into another NBA contract, I think if he stayed in NY he’d be Euro bound next year

  2. phillyballers

    Lefty has to be salivating. I will admit, I was pro- the Sixers trading BACK from #3 to #5 and #10 with the thinking they’d take Isaac and DSJ. Both have had their issues tho. But Markelle Fultz was a worthless pick and divulged other assets in hindsight too.

  3. davidkaner

    Knicks are making things interesting but at the end of the day, they are an average team w/a need for bench scoring. Still looks like they need a few players.

  4. buttholesurfer69

    DSJ looks like an NBA player again through 10 games. Good for him, always liked his potential as a player.

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