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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Articles tagged: Dennis Smith Jr.

Knicks shooting guru trying to save Dennis Smith Jr’s shot

Dennis Smith

Dennis Smith Jr is still far from a finished product, and the New York Knicks are hoping that an intensive summer with their shooting guru benefits him.

In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post that ran on Sunday, Knicks assistant Keith Smart, known as the team’s “Shot Doctor,” spoke about the work he has been doing this offseason with the 21-year-old guard’s shot.

“It’s getting his delivery system into the shot where he can get more confident shooting,” said Smart, who has been working with Smith in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C. as well as during summer league in Las Vegas. “He’s been a willing participant. I told him it would be tedious process to start. But if we do it all right, he’ll start feeling it … We started shooting in a chair, taking out all the floor movement and just looking at the shoulders. The delivery of the hands through the basketball. We worked on that for about a week.”

As he enters his third NBA season, Smith is at just 40.7 percent from the field for his career, including 31.6 percent from the three-point line.

“We tried to slow things down for him, leaving the floor,” Smart added. “You see all the great shooters don’t leave the floor that high to get their shots off. They just have good lift on their shots. And your feet shouldn’t be off balance when you shoot the ball … We did it slowly. But the big thing is he had to get the confidence to believe in it. And as we did it, he got more confidence in his shooting. Before you knew it, we were right on track. The only piece missing is live competition when he gets into a real game and puts it all together.”

Smith was acquired by the Knicks in a midseason trade last February and still has two more years left on his rookie contract. His batty athleticism speaks for itself, but major improvement on his jumper will really aid Smith as he looks to the next season with revenge on his mind.

Ben Simmons, Dennis Smith Jr trade words

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr traded words during Wednesday’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.

Matters between them began after Smith taunted Simmons for getting dunked on by Kevin Knox:

Then as the teams headed off for halftime, Smith said something to Simmons, who responded:

Philly got the last laugh because, let’s be honest, everyone beats the Knicks. Smith only had 15 points on 5/15 shooting, compared to 18 for Simmons in 34 minutes of work. If this is the start of a rivalry between the two players, we’re here for it.

Dennis Smith Jr. wants revenge against Mavericks

Knicks logo

Dennis Smith Jr. fell out of favor with the Dallas Mavericks some time ago, and now he’s relishing a fresh start with the New York Knicks.

However, Smith does have at least one regret — that the Mavericks traded him to New York after they had their final game against the Knicks this season.

“I just want to play them,” Smith said of the Mavericks according to The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov. “They wanted to package me, DJ, and Wes and send us over here. I just wish they would’ve did it before we didn’t play them anymore.”

Ironically, in Smith’s final game in Dallas, he dropped a triple-double against the Knicks on January 30 and was then traded the following day.

Although the Knicks and Mavericks won’t meet again this season, expectations are that Smith will remain in New York next season and get his opportunity to exact some revenge on Dallas.

Knicks plan to challenge Dennis Smith Jr defensively

Dennis Smith

Dennis Smith Jr. likely won’t be able to get away with not giving maximum effort on the defense as a member of the New York Knicks.

Smith went to the Knicks as part of the blockbuster trade that saw Kristaps Porzingis head to the Dallas Mavericks. The second-year guard should have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do with New York. However, he will need to focus on defense as well as offense to stay on the floor under head coach David Fizdale.

The Knicks have been among the worst defensive teams in the NBA so far this season. Fizdale hopes the arrival of veterans DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews will help the team’s young players improve on defense.

Fizdale has a young team on his hands and it sounds like he’s counting on Jordan and Matthews to help with the development of the those players. Their development could be in key in potentially supplementing big name free agents should the Kicks sign any with the salary cap space they freed up with the Porzingis trade.

10 NBA trade deadline candidates

Marc Gasol

The NBA trade deadline is only two weeks away, and it’s safe to assume that some teams are already chatting about deals and gauging interest in moves. The NBA’s deadline is not known to be the most robust trade deadline in sports, but it’s certainly an event, and we’ve seen some important deals made over the years at this time of year.

Who’s on the block this year? Who may depart a losing franchise to play for a contender down the stretch? Here are ten names who could be on the move before Feb. 7.

10) Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies

A Gasol trade seems unlikely, but cannot be completely ruled out. He’s not quite the player he was in his prime, but he remains a guy who can chip in 15 points and eight rebounds per game while playing sound defense. He won’t come cheap, and has a player option worth over $25 million for next season, but the Grizzlies are going nowhere and Gasol may be eager to finish off his career with a contender, making him a potentially worthwhile trade pursuit. Plus, Memphis seems willing to listen to offers for him.

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Report: Dennis Smith Jr will return to Mavericks for Tuesday’s game

Dennis Smith

The Dallas Mavericks have played the past several games without Dennis Smith Jr, but it looks like the guard will return to action for the team this week.

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told his team at practice on Sunday that Smith will return for their game against the Clippers on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Smith has not played since the team’s Jan. 7 loss to the Lakers. He has missed five games in a row — the Mavs have gone 2-3 in that span.

Smith was missing time amid trade rumors, but Carlisle and Smith apparently spoke, leading Smith to report.

Report: Mavericks want to smooth things over with Dennis Smith Jr

Dennis Smith

The Dallas Mavericks have been trying to trade point guard Dennis Smith Jr, but it sounds like a lack of interest could force them to reevaluate the former first-round pick’s future with the team.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported on Thursday that the Mavericks are intent on not trading Smith unless they get solid value in return, and they are optimistic that they may be able to smooth things over with him and not move him at all. Team sources told MacMahon the Mavs are still confident Smith can turn into a star, with one source saying “Plan A is still to fix this,” not trade him.

Smith has not been seeing eye-to-eye with Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, and he is said to be unhappy with his role on the team. However, MacMahon was told that some of that talk has been overblown and Carlisle is simply trying to help Smith develop. The coach would reportedly welcome the opportunity to continue coaching Smith.

Of course, the Mavericks don’t want to do anything that is going to slow the progress of Luka Doncic, who they believe is the future of their franchise. Smith has taken on a new role with Dallas looking to cater their offense to the rookie, and that is what appears to be causing much — if not all — of the friction between Smith and the team.

Smith is averaging 12.6 points per game this season, which is a step back from a promising rookie year in which he scored 15.2 and had 5.2 assists per game. The former NC State star has missed the past four games with what the team initially called back soreness, but there have been questions about whether or not something else is at play.