Former Wolfpack PG, Dennis Smith Jr. led The Mavs to a 122-105 win last night against the Nuggets. The freshman point guard dropped 20 points (on 9-16 shooting), grabbed 5 boards and dropped off 3 assists (highlights above).
This brings Smith Jr’s average to 14.5 points, 4.2 assists and 4 rebounds per game, which is pretty great for a rookie PG. The key has been his ability to adapt to the NBA game and learn that it’not all about highlight reel dunks.
“That’s how the season has been going — taking so many hits off screens, you ain’t trying to dunk on too many more people because you’re going to feel it,” Smith told Dallas News “That’s all that really is.”
His coach, Rick Carlisle has also noted a drastic improvement in his maturity and his style of play…
“Better all the time. The quick decisions, the quick drives are great. You’re seeing less yo-yoing of the ball, which really allows the defense to load up on you. The adjustments he’s making, he’s having success with, so it gives a nice reinforcement.”
Look, there’s so much coming at him every day. Just to digest everything is a real challenge, but he’s doing a good job with it.”
Although the Mavs are only 6-17, Smith Jr. is learning how to run a basketball team. Dallas may not be a contender this year, or next year, but with Smith as a foundation, they will be near the top of the standings eventually.