Hornets' Dennis Smith Jr. Suits Up vs. Heat Despite Illness
Initially listed as a game-time decision, Dennis Smith Jr. is in the lineup against the Miami Heat. The Charlotte Hornets’ official Twitter account confirmed the guard would play in Sunday’s matinee. However, Cody Martin and Kelly Oubre Jr. remain out with left knee and left hand injuries, respectively.
INJURY REPORT vs MIA— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) January 29, 2023
Dennis Smith Jr is available.
Cody Martin (L Knee soreness) is out.
Kelly Oubre Jr (L Hand surgery) is out.
Presented by @NovantHealth | #ad pic.twitter.com/K0oCmtpGII
After starting early in the season, Smith Jr. has moved into a reserve role more recently. The 25-year-old has come off the bench in 15 straight appearances, making modest offensive contributions. Since November 10, Smith Jr. has hit double-digit scoring once and is averaging just 6.5 points per game over that stretch.
Smith Jr’s diminished role coincides with LaMelo Ball’s return to the lineup. Although Ball recently returned from a three-game absence, he leads the team in scoring and is a pillar in the Hornets’ backcourt.
Charlotte is going for consecutive wins for the second time since the end of November. However, they will have to overcome the betting odds, as they entered the Southeast Division battle as +6 underdogs.
Check out FanDuel Sportsbook for the latest.