Just ten games into his rookie season and Dennis Smith Jr. has already rocked more rims than a one-hit-wonder rapper. Here are all Smith Jr.’s dunks this season in order from
worst good to best.
8. Put the 48” vert to work (DAL vs ATL)
This dunk wasn’t all that impressive unless you think about where he starts. Smith Jr. is just about 6’3” and basically dunks this with both hands without taking a step. His vertical is something else.
7. Let me take you Rio (DAL vs MEM)
Another two-handed throw down, this dunk came on a crazy change of possession where we almost got another dose of Point-Dirk but instead he threw the go-ahead outlet pass to Dennis. Smith Jr. made quick work of Mario Chalmers and lofted the ball over the rim.
6. Baseline flush (DAL at MIN)
This play comes off of an inbound play where Karl Anthony-Towns gives way too much respect to Dwight Powell on the three-point line and Andrew Wiggins can’t decide whether to clog the lane or follow his man Yogi Ferrell. Jeff Teague then plays Smith Jr. straight up and shows baseline—which would send Smith Jr. right—and Teague has no chance of staying in front of his man. Smith Jr. explodes to the basket and receives a nice “Ooooh, wow!” from Mavs play-by-play man Mark Followill.
5. Alley-ooping it again (DAL at WAS)
The only reason this dunk—a designed alley-oop play from Wes Matthews—isn’t higher is because it was the second time we’d seen this exact play…
4. Wes with the alley, DSJ to start the season with the oop (DAL vs ATL)
…and this one was the first play of the season. Some would argue it was all downhill from there. But look at this play. Harrison Barnes sets a down screen for Wes’s man, and Wes receives the ball from Smith Jr. Then, Dennis gets a totally not moving screen from Dirk Nowitzki, and with Yogi Ferrell running to the other side, every other defender is on the three-point line. This gives D-S-J the right-of-way straight to the rim.
3. Part the Red
Sea Lane (DAL at LAC)
Dennis Smith Jr. must have heard about Moses in Sunday school growing up because he’s PARTING THE SEA. The Clippers’ apathy works in the rookie’s favor.
2. Fastbreak breakfast (DAL at WAS)
This one was electric, another pass from Wes Matthews on a fast break. There might not be a more exciting scenario for the Mavs this season than when Dennis Smith Jr. has both the ball and daylight ahead of him. Smith Jr.’s head comes unexplainably close to the rim on this dunk and rocks the rim. But he was all alone and that just won’t do for the top spot in these rankings. (Also shoutout Fastbreak Breakfast)
1. Catch and smash near Boogie (DAL vs NOP)
DeMarcus Cousins was one mental lapse from ending the internet forever. Nerlens Noel snags a rebound away from Cousins and finds a streaking Smith Jr. when Jameer Nelson decides to trap the 6’11” Noel, who definitely isn’t going to dribble or bring the ball below his head. An underrated passer, Noel two-hands the pass like a soccer player and Smith Jr. does the rest, cocking it back behind his head and craving blood.
This dunk receives the top spot for the intensity, the proximity to a poster on a superstar player, and for the reaction it drew from not just the crowd at the AAC but also my Locked On Mavericks Podcast co-host Isaac Harris and myself. We lost all unbiased-journalistic-demeanor and jumped out of our seats, covering out mouths and saying stupid things. This was a dunk that made you say stupid things, and there are bound to be a lot more.