Now 21 games into his rookie season, 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.
The new additions are marked with an (*), click here to see Dennis Smith Jr.’s first eight dunks ranked.
Now, I’m not saying DSJ is padding his stats in garbage time (maybe I did here) but these are three of the widest lanes he’ll ever see. Here’s the best one, click the titles to see all three.
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.
In a slowed fastbreak Smith Jr. beats Taj Gibson off the dribble (going left) and leaves Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler in his dust.
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.
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.
In the third iteration of this exact same play Dennis loses Paul George and yes, Mark Follow, I will take another one. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it...
...unless you just try it from the other side. It’s interesting that Wes Matthews was chosen to deliver this pass every time but he nails it every time.
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…
…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.
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.
The Cavaliers “defense” is completely set for this one but Dennis dips and dodges past Iman Shumpert and Jae Crowder to put the Mavs up one. Also, check out that Royal Help Defense, definitely Shaqtin Worthy.
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)
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 it’s 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.
Like most great dunks (and onions) this dunk has layers. First off, Dennis collects the rebound from a missed Chandler Parsons pull up jumper. Then Smith Jr. glides by Parsons, Dillion Brooks, Marc Gasol, and David Fizdale for the fast break two-hander. The dunk itself wasn’t as impressive as the end-to-end speed Smith Jr. displayed. It’s worth noting that the Grizzlies haven’t won a game since losing this one to the Mavericks (they didn’t win the five games before that either).
Also, something tells me this wasn’t the last thing David Fizdale “could not believe.”
This was a great sequence for NBA Rookie Dennis Smith Jr. He nabs a rare Lebron James errant pass and subsequently falls prey to the greatest chase down block artist the League has ever seen. Then as James and Company are driving back down the floor Smith Jr. flings his arm out and tips another Lebron pass. Matthews picks it up and finds a streaking Smith Jr. who ends the play with an emphatic two-handed that rocked the house.
Like a shark that smells blood in the water, Dennis Smith Jr. preys on the flat footed. Also, check out the help defense in the lane when Smith Jr. takes off.
LaMarcus Aldridge: “Nope”
Danny Green: “Nope”