The New York Knicks need to move on from Smith Jr.

New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr.

New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is not having the year fans thought he would.  Smith has had a lot of hardships this season both on and off the court.

This off-season Smith tried to revamp his shot.  He tucked his elbow in more and it appeared like he was making some waves.  The Knicks were excited to see what Smith could bring to the team this season.  However, his shot is anything but improved.

Over the last ten games, Smith is playing 20 minutes while averaging 5.1 points, shooting 26.7% from the field.  Not what fans would’ve expected after seeing all the promising videos from the work he put in this summer.  Maybe he needed to work more on his shot instead of impromptu dunk contests.

He has been greatly under-performing, partly due to a loss in his family.  Smith was away from the Knicks for several games coping with the sudden loss of his stepmother.  Words can’t make any death situation better and one can’t imagine trying to get back to playing basketball after losing someone close.

Smith’s play has been lacking this season.  He has spurts when he looks like he might be regaining some old pep in his step but that has been rare.  Smith still came to camp out-of-shape and it can still be seen by his lackluster, slow transition defense.

The New York Knicks have moved more towards Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina has a primary backcourt under Mike Miller.

Since returning from his hamstring injury, Payton has been playing extremely well.  He pushes the pace and the team has been responding to this effort.  Ntilikina continues to impress on both sides of the floor, especially defensively.  Miller likes what these two bring together as it finally seems they may be onto something.

Smith didn’t play the last two games due to a ‘coach’s decision’.  As Ntilikina and Payton continue to impress, it is clear that Smith is taking a backseat to them.  It may be time to move on from Smith which would be one less player in the crowded backcourt.  New York might not be the place Smith.