Lightly used until crunch time, then be the guy handling the ball and getting fouled. I know that is not the role anyone saw for Nick when he signed with us. Given the status of his knee, conditioning, and the current chemistry of the team, I wonder if that might be his best use right now. Maybe by post season we can get the full Nick Smith Jr. Experience.
It will be interesting to see how Nick is used early on.
I’m just glad that Devo, Black, and Council will have more opportunity to get rest breaks.
Play him early and often. He has missed enough time. Time to play ball.
Yeah, if he could lighten their loads by about 5 minutes each, that would be huge.
Play him too much, too soon, and you could lose him for good. I would be surprised if he plays more than 10 minutes Saturday. 15-20 for the next couple of games. Maybe 25-30 by the SECT.
We don’t know how much cardio Nick has been able to do. There are ways you can stay in shape without putting strain on a sore knee, whatever the actual diagnosis is. And from what Muss said Nick stayed behind on the two road trips to get more conditioning in. But yeah, I expect them to be cautious with his minutes.
I hope NSJ is a difference maker down the stretch. I want to make the tourney but I also want to beat Bama more than anything else besides making the field of 68-64. I didn’t like the way they acted in BWA. I want a little payback.
I agree. At first. But unless the knee just isn’t right (and I don’t think he’d be back if it wasn’t) I think he will flat play too well to NOT play 25-30 minutes a game.
I could be wrong of course. I’m just proud of the kid for coming back. He could have walked away and felt completely justified. As he said to his doubters, “you don’t know me at all”.
Good for you Nick. When your NBA career is done, you will forever be a favorite son in your home state. Not a bad thing.
I am super excited to see Nick playing again for our Hogs.
That’s not what I imagine for him.
Clay do you imagine him playing more than 20 minutes a game before post season?
Your best player on the team is not going to be used like Chris Lykes. He’ll play 10-15 minutes tomorrow and then he’ll play around 30 minutes or more on Wednesday. His knee is 100%.
Not Clay, but yes he will. He’ll play more than 20 minutes @ Texas A&M.
I’m thinking that if he’s healthy and can knock the rust off, we get a lot more from him than Lykes, except maybe the killer foul shooting late in games.
Lykes was high energy, and a streaky three point shooter with the ability to make the occasional sensational assist. But he was a little guy who drove into trouble too much, took too many deep threes too early, and just played out of control too often.
Smith is big enough to defend most perimeter players, can score at all three levels, and (in a very small sample of games so far) has shown good ball handling skills and ability to distribute the ball. He’s much less frantic than Lykes, and not as prone to the too slick passing that sometimes gets Devo in trouble. He’s also got a smoother stop and pop drive game than Black, who’s pretty good at it himself.
Oh I understand that Nick is a whole nuther level of player than CL was. No doubt about it. Like everyone else, I have no idea what the condition of Nick’s knee is. Do more minutes increase the possibility of injury or having to shut him down again? If so, Muss may have to rethink the best way to use him. Late game ball handler and lights out FT shooter is a valuable role. Chris Lykes won us games last year, by being that guy. Like everyone else, I want to see Nick Smith Jr. In all his glory. If that isn’t possible however, I’ll gladly settle for Chris Lykes 2.0.
How do you know his knee is 100%?
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