Tonight the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Dallas Mavericks. This match up in the past has been about Mark Cuban saying in the media that Russell Westbrook is not a superstar and Westbrook going out against the Maverick’s and unleashing hell.
This season there is a whole new reason to watch, and it has me salivating. In the first round of the 2017 NBA draft Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks drafted rookie from North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr.
Dallas has been in search of a franchise point guard for a long time, and hopes Smith will be that. He’s an explosive athlete and talented scorer who can make plays off the dribble and comes with a ton of upside. This is great value for the Mavericks, who gain a legitimate long-term asset as they continue to prepare for the post-Dirk era. In a weaker draft, Smith might have been a top-five talent.
Watching Smith Jr.’s college highlights, who does he remind you of? I’ll give you a couple of seconds. Would it maybe be Oklahoma City Thunder point guard from UCLA one Russell Westbrook.
Almost a mirror image. Two amazingly explosive point guards with so much athleticism it leaves you in shock and awe like nothing you have ever seen before.
So far in Smith Jr.’s first 11 games, Smith Jr. is averaging 28.5 minutes per game scoring 14.8 points shooting 5.8-of-14.3 at 40.8 percent 1.4-of-4.6 at 29.4 percent from three, 3.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks.
Russell Westbrook in his first 18 games in his rookie season back in 2008-09 season was averaging.
Russell Westbrook in his first rookie season back in 2008-09 season averaged 32.5 minutes scoring 15.3 points shooting 5.3-of-13.4 at 39.8 percent and 0.4-of-1.6 at 27.1 percent from three, 4.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.2 blocks. Westbrook stats obviously are over the length of the entire season.
Sunday’s game between the Thunder and Mavericks will be a fascinating game to watch, how do these two explosive point guards look when they come together. This is a matchup of the present in Russell Westbrook and the future in Dennis Smith Jr. In Smith Jr., we could be seeing the next line of lineage in the genes of Michael Jordan.
First was Jordan, then came Kobe Bryant, and right now we are living in the Westbrook era. (Just an expression, not saying Dennis Smith or Westbrook is as good as Jordan) We could be about to see the man who is next to take the throne in Dennis Smith Jr. Don’t know about you, but the first three men in this lineage have been phenomenal to watch, and we should be glued to the TV to see how the next one does.
I just hope the crown isn’t too daunting for him to wear and live up to.
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