Can DSJ bounce back?
Dennis Smith Jr. played maybe the worst game of his young career opening night in Phoenix. The box score was ugly. He finished with 13 points, five assists, two rebounds, and three steals while shooting 6 of 19 from the floor and 1 of 4 from three. That’s the same time kind of inefficiency that plagued the first half of his rookie season.
And the tape was even worse. His game was marred by bad decisions, ugly misses, and very poor shot selection. All things we hoped we wouldn’t be seeing from Dennis in year two.
He would likely be the first one to tell you that he played poorly too. We as fans, felt disappointed with his showing. But I can assure you nobody holds Dennis to a higher standard than himself, so I expect to see a nice bounce back from the young guard.
Besides, a little perspective never hurt anyone. Yes, Dennis had a miserable start to his sophomore season. But the good news is that he has 81 more games to right those wrongs. Look for him to get started with that come tonight.
Will the defense improve?
To be frank, the defensive effort against the Suns was flat out horrible. They were leaking to the tune of 37 first quarter points, 121 for the game. The Suns best player, only a few weeks removed from hand surgery, lit them up for 35 points on only 19 shots. Heck, even Josh Jackson and Trevor Ariza scored a combined 39 points.
As Dennis Smith Jr. called it, “unacceptable.”
There were too many breakdowns to count. Two men going to the ball leaving another man open, getting lost in transition, and flat out poor effort absolutely killed this team. I don’t know if it was lack of practice time, the China trip, injuries, or whatever, but it’s something that needs to improve immediately for this team to have even a slim chance at the postseason.
Let there be no doubt Carlisle grilled this team in practice and film sessions, and playing at home for the first time shouldn’t hurt either. Expect a much better effort on the less glamours end of the floor in this one.
The Wonder Boy makes his AAC Debut
When the Mavericks acquired Luka Doncic back in June, this was the moment all DFW MFFL’s have been waiting for. The chance to see their new favorite player up close, and in person.
Okay, technically they have had two chances to come see Luka, but that official regular season debut is just different. And if the reception he got in the preseason is any indication, Luka is in for a real treat from the crowd when his name gets called during intros. Given the flair and excitement Luka likes to play with, I expect him to try and return the love with some highlight level stuff.
Similar to the stuff we saw during that first quarter in Phoenix. Now he didn’t have the prettiest line or most efficient game, but that generational basketball IQ and those ridiculous passing chops were on full display.
It should be a fun night at the AAC.
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