If there was any doubt before, there is none now.
Dennis Smith Jr. IS the future of the Dallas Mavericks.
Truth be told, he’s the present as well.
The rookie point guard from N.C. State – picked #9 in the NBA draft – recorded his first triple double as an NBA player Friday night in the Mavs 128-120 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Smith had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Dennis Smith Jr. posts his first career triple-double:
— NBA (@NBA) December 30, 2017
The triple-double also makes him the 3rd youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double. While all of Dallas, the Mavs organization and others are celebrating the triple double, there is a bit of uncertainty surrounding the milestone and whether the rebound was from Smith Jr. or Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs have yet to hear from NBA officials so for now the triple double stands.
Dennis Smith Jr. made history last night. pic.twitter.com/E6lpaXUthE
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 31, 2017
In addition to Smith Jr.’s triple double, the Mavs set a franchise record, making 22 3-pointers on 39 attempts. Their previous best was 19 3-pointers which they made several times. Dallas also had its highest-scoring first half of the season with 77 points.
And as usual, it was a team effort, led by Smith Jr.
Smith had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He was 5 of 7 from 3-point range and 8 of 12 overall. Wesley Matthews made 4 of 7 3-pointers and scored 18 points, and Devin Harris hit 5 of 7 3-pointers and added 17 points to help Dallas win three consecutive game for the first time this season. Dwight Powell scored 15 points, J.J. Barea had 14 and Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki 13 each.
The victory also meant the Mavs have won three in a row for the first time this season.
And again, it all started with Smith Jr.
He missed six games due to a hip strain he suffered at Boston on Dec. 6th. During that time the Mavs went on a 3-game losing streak (Dec. 14th @Golden State; Dec. 16th @San Antonio and Dec. 18th home vs the Suns) Smith Jr. came back Dec. 20th and led his team to a 110-93 rout of the Detroit Pistons in front of the home crowd AND with friend and fellow Fayetville, N.C. native J. Cole in attendance.
Just before the game that night Smith Jr. said he couldn’t wait to get back onto the floor.
“I am excited. I feel like I’ve missed two months. So many games. I’m thankful to be back out here. I just want to come out and do what I do.”
And he did. He scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting and had 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
They lost the next two games (@Miami and @Atlanta) but won the next three including at home versus the Toronto Raptors and @Indiana and last night @New Orleans.
Clearly their rookie point guard sensation is what the Mavericks (12-25 and 13th place in the Western Conference) have been missing and needed.
Said Smith Jr. after last night’s win: “The three straight games we won in the clutch, I was in the game.”
Yes he was.
Of Smith Jr.’s first triple double Head Coach Rick Carlisle said after the game: “It’s the first of many.”
Yes it is.
The Mavs end 2017 on the road for a New Year’s Eve game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.