Charlotte Hornets point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has been playing well for a while now but perhaps the Dallas Mavericks don’t know that.
Either that or, you know, Smith still hasn’t let go of the fact the Mavs gave up on him after just a little more than one season. This despite him being selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
All is well that ends well though, as Smith punctuated his team’s victory over a Dallas with a monster slam on an alley-oop as he got behind the defense.
Smith made sure to get some barking in at the Mavs bench afterwards.
Dennis Smith Jr. got UP for the lob and barks in the direction of the Mavs’ bench pic.twitter.com/j3iQqWQ88I
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 26, 2023
Smith, always an exceptional athlete, had averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game for the NC State Wolfpack in his lone collegiate season. This led to him earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors and a projection as a lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
Then, injuries happened.
Now, with his body healthy and his mind in a better place, Smith is making a comeback.
Ironically, so is another guard selected in the 2017 NBA Draft that was expected to excel in the NBA: Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz.
Starting in place of the injured LaMelo Ball, Smith would finish the contest against the Mavericks with 14 points, six assists, and one steal while shooting 5-11 from the field. He tallied 12 points, nine assists, and one steal in his previous matchup with Dallas.
For the season, he’s now averaging 9.7 points and 4.0 assists per game in his best season since 2018-19.
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