Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr. cannot be stopped in preseason debut

Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr. brought the highlight reel material in their first preseason game on Sept. 29.

The Dallas Mavericks are expecting a massive second season from Dennis Smith Jr.  He was the ninth pick in the 2017 draft and had a solid rookie season.  DSJ shot poorly but produced over 15 points and five assists per game.

The Mavericks need him to take a step forward to return to contention, though.  They cannot have a starting point guard shooting under 40 percent or one with negative win shares per 48 minutes like last season.

The addition of Luka Doncic should take some of the pressure and ball-handling responsibilities away from Smith Jr.  That will force an adjustment, but should improve his efficiency.  It will also make the Mavs offense more effective by creating additional space and giving the defense two playmakers to worry about guarding.

First action of the season

Dallas Mavericks basketball is back as they kicked off the preseason on Sept. 29 against the Beijing Ducks.  The Ducks play in the CBA in China.  The Mavs dominated them in route to a 116-63 victory on Saturday.

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Dennis Smith Jr. drew the start and played 26 minutes.  He produced 16 points, six assists, and one rebound on six of ten shooting from the field.  DSJ also sank one of three 3-pointers and was three out of five on free throw attempts.

Highlights galore

The stat line does not do his performance justice, though.  Smith Jr. gave fans some insane highlights to get them excited.  Let us check out a few courtesy of the Mavericks official Twitter account.

First, DSJ decided to be a one-man offense.  He missed a 3-pointer only to gather the long rebound and drive in for a monster dunk.  Those words do not do the job in describing the play, though.

Smith Jr. later decided to defeat the entire Ducks defense by himself.  He put on a dribbling display in route to an easy bucket.

For good measure, Dennis Smith Jr. decided to go bananas in the third quarter to ice the game.  Check out a few highlight plays from him and others here.

Final thoughts

The competition might not have been A-plus, but Dennis Smith Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks put on a show in dominating the Beijing Ducks.  DSJ showed important improvements in his game, and the Mavs appear set on playing at a faster pace this season.  Up-tempo should suit Smith Jr.  Expect to see plenty more from him in his sophomore season.

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