On Saturday night, the New York Knicks hosted the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. They would go on to lose their third straight game 95-118. That’s not that shocking, they have been known to lose for centuries now. What is the most shocking in all of this so far is the amount of time Dennis Smith Jr has been allowed to play. In three games, he’s played a grand total of 26 minutes. In that 26 minutes, he has been able to produce close to nothing.
Now the biggest question is this: is Dennis Smith Jr just not that good or is he getting screwed over by David Fizdale and the Knicks. Based on my title, you know where I’m going with this one. The Knicks have been a laughing stock for years, and this year wasn’t going to get any better. They signed a ridiculous amount of guys who are Power Forward’s and not enough Guards. That should mean Dennis Smith Jr should get a fair share of minutes.
However, that hasn’t been the case this year. He’s averaging 8.7 minutes a game, and someone of Dennis Smith Jr’s caliber should be getting a lot more minutes than that. You can tell his confidence is lower than it’s ever been. Even his time in Dallas wasn’t this bad. Sure, Smith has his flaws. He isn’t an efficient shooter in any stretch and not the best defender, but when has that stopped players before? You seen guys like him all across the league. And Smith is only 21 years old, that is ridiculously young. I just wrote about the youth in this league and how they get an unfair-shake with enormous expectations. This is something like that, a guy who is super-athletic and talented who hasn’t had the actual chance to find himself yet.
This is on the fault of a lot of things, first being Fizdale being a horrible coach for this team. His rotations are awful and play-calling is messy. Guys before the regular season even started had no idea what their role is. As a fan or a player, you already know the situation at hand is going to get ugly. It’s a horrible look as a coach, and this isn’t Fizdale’s first time making some questionable decisions. He refuses to play his young guys, dating back to last season. The only one I’ve seen him play as of recent is RJ Barrett.
The fans of the Knicks are also pathetic and are another big reason why the Knicks will never flourish. It’s why the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving went to Brooklyn. They boo you off the floor at any given instance. Smith played a whopping 11 minutes vs Boston and looked scared and confused as I’ve ever seen someone. The crowd starts chanting “WE WANT FRANK” and just like that you can see the sadness on Smith’s face. He walked back to the bench just, teammates trying to keep his head up, but how can you? A whole fan-base who once claimed they should’ve drafted you over Frank Ntilikina now wants you off the floor for the other guy.
When you are a young player trying to prove yourself on an organization that has been known for pure mediocrity, you don’t stand a chance. Draymond Green said it best, “I think he’s been in some pretty tough situations. No one ever blames the situation, it’s always the kid. Nobody ever blames these (expletive) franchises.” No one ever blames the franchise, it’s always the young kid trying to make a name in the NBA. A place kid’s dream of being in, Smith is in this similar situation. He wasn’t loved by Mark Cuban and the Mavericks and now the Knicks do this.
As J. Cole said, “Dennis Smith Jr. stay solid my (expletive).”