The Home Opener - What Is Wrong With Dennis Smith Jr.?
After a solid looking first half where the Knicks were up 5 at the break against the Kemba led Celtics, There was a clear regression and it looked like they were out of sync, lazy and as Coach Fizdale puts it: The ball got sticky which led to iso ball, poor shots and a lot of transition points for the C's.
Second game of a back to back could have been the cause, Kemba dancing around dropping dimes all night could have been the reason, Knox going 2-7 from the field didn't help. It really could have been any number of things.
In my eyes the loss was due in no small part to the horrendous (yet again) play of Dennis Smith Jr. Having the whole mood of the game shift and seeing it get very tentative when he steps on the court is cause for immediate concern forhow teams are going after him and more importantly, his mental state.
This epidemic officially has me worried that DSJ has the "Yips" and he is going to start looking like Markelle Fultz who, interestingly enough is starting to show flashes of his old game with the Magic. Hopefully it doesn't take Dennis 3 years to get over this.
Has he lost focus? His trust in his game? Is he crumbling under the weight of expectations being involved in the Kristaps Porzingis trade last year? Who know... but the kid needs help.
Smith Jr. is one of the leagues high flyers, one of its most athletic players. One good game from him might just be enough to get him back on track mentally and get him regular minutes, maybe even get back into the starting lineup before he plays his way out of the rotation at all.
Speaking of, where's Frank?