Rockets’ new backup center Greg Smith goes down with injury


It looked really bad when it happened.

Houston’s Greg Smith went up to contest a Carmelo Anthony shot in the first quarter Thursday and when he came down his right knee buckled. He went to the ground and had to be helped off the court.

The early report is an LCL sprain, however we will know more in the next couple days. The X-rays were negative and an MRI will happen tomorrow. Smith will not return to this game, reported Rachel Nichols on the TNT broadcast.

Just watching it, Smith could be out a while.

Smith had moved into the backup center role in Houston — he came in when Dwight Howard sat Thursday against the Knicks, jumping ahead of Omer Asik in the pecking. This would be a blow to the Rockets rotation.

It will be interesting to see if and how this impacts the trade request of Omer Asik.

With no Smith the Rockets may be forced to play Asik more as a backup center (although in the first half against the Knicks McHale just went small, and that worked well against a slow moving New York defense). It may alter what they want in return for an Asik trade.

We will update this post when we know more about Smith’s condition.