Tag: Ish Smith

Kyle O'Quinn, Nick Collison

Nick Collison latest Thunder player to go down with injury


On the same day that Kevin Durant was shut down for the foreseeable future due to experiencing continued soreness as he was trying to work his way back from a foot fracture, the Thunder learned that yet another of their players had suffered an injury that will cause him to miss some time.

Nick Collison may seem irrelevant to some, but he’s an important cog overall in the OKC machine. And after suffering an ankle sprain in Friday night’s win over the Hawks, he’s now been ruled out for the rest of the month, and is the latest Thunder player to be unwillingly thrown onto the ever-growing injury pile.

From Randy Renner of InsideThunder.com (via HoopsHype):

Thunder backup forward and first team glue guy Nick Collison will miss “at least 10 days,” with a sprained left ankle according to Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.  “He’ll be out until sometime in April.”

“There’s that saying, if you don’t laugh, you’re gonna cry, sometimes I feel like crying,” Brooks said.

Collison was finishing up one of his best games of the season Friday night against Atlanta when he rolled his left ankle.

“I don’t feel very good right now,” Collison told reporters after OKC’s thrilling win over the Hawks. He left the arena in a walking boot and on crutches.

The Thunder’s net rating is affected by just +0.2 with Collison on the floor compared to when he’s off, so something tells me they’ll survive.

But this just adds to the ridiculous amount of injuries Oklahoma City has experienced this season.

Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

Only 6 of 21 OKC players haven’t missed game due to injury this yr: Lance Thomas, Sebastian Telfair, Ish Smith, Waiters, Singler, Augustin.

Is that a lot? It seems like a lot.

The Thunder may very well make the playoffs in spite of all of this, thanks to Phoenix fading and the way the schedule shakes out. But the road to the postseason just got a little tougher with yet another rotation player sidelined due to injury.

Rockets’ Ish Smith assigned to the D-League

Ishmael Smith
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Ish Smith had enough draft red flags coming out of Wake Forest that he wasn’t selected at all in this past summer’s draft, but by now there should be no doubt that Smith is a legitimate NBA prospect. Smith may not have exploded onto the scene with his first chances at legitimate playing time, but he held his own, ran the offense to the best of his abilities, and showcased the kind of burst speed that could eventually make him a legitimate NBA weapon. He clearly isn’t a rotation caliber player yet, but Smith has shown plenty of promise this season. It’s quite the curiosity that Smith wasn’t deemed worthy of a second round pick.

Let’s not romanticize things, though; Smith is a decent prospect, but he’s not ready to play consistent minutes, particularly over the high-minute point guards already in place in Houston. Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry — both of whom have fought injuries throughout the season, which allowed Smith to play a bit in the first place — are likely to fill most of the PG minutes for the Rockets, and Courtney Lee provides Houston with a solid third option for a rainy day. That doesn’t leave much of an opportunity for Smith, whom the Rockets have assigned to their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grand Valley Vipers.

This will be Smith’s first tour in the D-League. He’ll certainly get more minutes with the Vipers than he would with the Rockets, but the point guard spot in RGV isn’t Smith’s alone. Mustafa Shakur, one of the more promising point guard prospects in the D-league, is currently at the helm for the Vipers, and he won’t be stepping aside just so Smith can log some time. It’ll be up to Smith to earn every minute he gets on the floor in he D, and if he plays as well as he did for the Rockets, he shouldn’t have too much of a problem grabbing every minute to be had in the Vipers’ backcourt.