Friday evening the Detroit Pistons once again fell to the Atlanta Hawks and Josh Smith came off the bench for the first time in eight years. Smith was held scoreless on 0-7 shooting from the field and played just 19 minutes.
It seems that Smith was left out of the starting lineup as a disciplinary measure.
Coach Maurice Cheeks said after the game that Smith had missed a practice Thursday. Cheeks said he called the practice late, on the team flight on the way home after Wednesday’s loss at Atlanta. Smith wasn’t on the flight, Cheeks said.
Smith’s hometown is Atlanta and NBA teams rarely practice after back-to-back playing situations. The Pistons played Tuesday and Wednesday. In an interview with MLive earlier this week, Smith said he intended to stay in Atlanta until Thursday, then return in time for Friday’s shootaround.
Not much to say here, really. Smoove has got his money and is under no pressure to perform. His numbers are down across the board and he is taking a career-high 5.2 three-pointers per game, twice as many as he has ever taken in his career, while connecting on 29% of his attempts.
Kyle Singler, meanwhile, did great filling in for Smith, scoring a game-high 22 points. Whether Singler stays in the starting lineup or not remains to be seen, but watching Smith in a Pistons uniform has certainly been very frustrating.