Last season, Dennis Smith Jr had a season to forget. The fourth year point caught a lot of criticism because of his jump shot, but during the off-season, he spent a lot of time homing his craft.
“The more work you put in, the more confident you get,” Smith said via Greg Joyce of the Ny Post. “So a lot of times it’s becoming second nature to be aggressive and try to make plays for myself and my teammates.”
Last season, Smith dealt with injuries and the lost of his grandmother, as he only appeared in 34 games. Only averaging 5.5 points, 2.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and shooting 34.1 percent from the field. Smith has the ability to help the Knicks in other areas, if his shots are not falling that is something that fellow North Carolina native Sheldon Bailey would like to see.
” If he is not going to be shooting the ball well, then he is going to have to be creating better. He has a tendency to turn the ball over, and he needs a better assists man,” said Bailey.
“Also, he is going to have to be more durable and stay on the court. So, he can actually develop and show he can be that type of player.”
The Knicks are going to have to adjust to the coaching style of new head coach Tom Thibodeau. On Thursday, Thibs shared with the media that he liked what he was seeing from Smith.
“I think he’s come into camp and he’s been very aggressive,” Thibodeau said. “I think each day, he’s gotten better and better. That’s what we’re asking him to do — to run his team, keep us organized, take advantage of what your strengths are, your ability to get downhill to force people to collapse, and then make the right play. He can score the ball, he’s shooting the ball pretty well right now, but he’s making good plays also.”
The Knicks have a rematch with the Pistons tomorrow as they continue their preseason play.