J.R. Smith has struggled since the All-Star break, but he won’t get a chance to work his way into rhythm against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
The Cavaliers announced that Smith has been suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team, and will serve that suspension against Philadelphia. Rodney Hood will start in his place.
Smith has really struggled since the All-Star break, shooting 19 percent from three-point range and regressing after putting together a couple strong performances after the trade deadline. He’s had a tough season overall, and there’s been clamoring for him to be replaced in the starting lineup by Hood.
That could be a sticky situation - Smith is famously sensitive, and the Cavaliers could risk losing him altogether if they maroon him on the bench. He also has a tendency to try to take on a greater playmaking role as a bench player, something the Cavaliers should not want him to do.
We’ll see if more information arises about what led to the suspension, but for now, all we know is that we won’t see Smith against Philadelphia. Per Tyronn Lue, Smith is expected to be back in the starting lineup on Saturday.
Chris Manning contributed to this report.