After the New York Knicks fell to the Boston Celtics, 118-95, one reality became apparent. Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is not mentally prepared or physically capable of being a starter in New York.
Hopefully, Smith will break out of his cold-streak sooner rather than later, but his inability to impact games positively through three games is hugely disappointing. Over 11 minutes on Saturday night, Smith went 0-for-3 from the field, scoring zero points. His -15 +/- on the night ranked third-worst on the night behind Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier.
The former Maverick’s defense was putrid and his offense even worse, and that could result in him dropping down the depth chart behind Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina. His body language after being pulled late in the game was a clear indication of his frustration, which was also noticed during his time in Dallas.
Can the New York Knicks extract the most out of Dennis Smith Jr.?
Smith spent the entire summer of 2019 working on his jump shot in an attempt to improve his offensive production. This was meant to ensure he won’t the starting point guard job and help elevate a position that has been a weakness for the Knicks for quite some time.
While Smith does have elite athleticism and speed, his mental attributes are weak. Bad shot selection, lousy court vision, etc. The young Knick has plenty of potentials, but he must overcome his wrongdoings. Improving his mentality and efficiency in the categories mentioned should be a priority.
â€œI feel like Iâ€™m in a space right now, I look at everything as nothing happens to me, it happens for me,â€ Smith said, according to Newsday. â€œThatâ€™s just how Iâ€™m moving.
“Thatâ€™s the only thing that Iâ€™m missing right now, continuing to know that the next one is going to fall,â€ he said. â€œThatâ€™s the only thing missing. Other than that everything is good.
The changes he made weren’t significant this offseason, but just enough to help improve his game.
â€œ[Iâ€™m confident]Â because the tweaks I made werenâ€™t anything major, not like that. I know that it works because I shot the ball really well this summer. I shot it well coming into training camp. I know it works. Itâ€™s just taking me time to get back to it.â€