AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Indiana Pacers forward Jalen Smith was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering a head injury in his team’s 132-126 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, per the Associated Press.
He was knocked to the floor in the second quarter after a collision with Philadelphia’s Paul Reed and was immediately taken off the floor by trainers. The team said he was hospitalized “out of an abundance of caution” and would undergo further testing.
Indiana Pacers @Pacers
Injury Report: Jalen Smith was assessed after leaving tonight’s game and the initial diagnosis is a head injury. Out of an abundance of caution, Smith will be transported to a local hospital for additional testing and evaluation.
Smith, 23, has had a solid start to the 2023-24 season, averaging 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds coming into Tuesday night. He’s done that in just 17.8 minutes per game off the bench, providing the Pacers with solid depth on the block.
His 64.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc in particular has been a pleasant surprise.
“Smith has had a great summer,” head coach Rick Carlisle told Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star in early October. “He’s gained strength. His level of intensity and presence on the court has lifted significantly from last year to this year.”
“I’ve been putting on the pounds and just expanding my game offensively and defensively,” Smith added at the time. “(Gaining weight) was more of an experimental thing to see how much my body could handle and see if I could still put out that same performance at that weight. I guess the experiment went well.”
Keeping him healthy has been a bit of an issue early in the year, however, as he also missed time earlier in the season with a sore lower back.
The Pacers have been a pleasant surprise themselves, starting the year 7-4 behind a fluid offense led by point guard Tyrese Haliburton.
Tyrese Haliburton went OFF tonight in the Pacers W 🔥
33 PTS 7 REB 15 AST 7 3PM
He has 32 assists over his last 2 games without a SINGLE turnover, the most in that stretch without one in NBA history 🤯 pic.twitter.com/jkh2ZUorGe
They are now 2-0 in the In-Season Tournament, topping East Group A after Tuesday’s win.