Dennis Smith Jr. has restored a new series of eyes.
The guard left the three games in the season to die his stepmother's death and the Knicks gave him so much time that he wanted to be worried and be accompanied by his family back in North Carolina. He took it up, not coming back to Thursday in Dallas, after 11 days away.
Smith was not playing well early in the season which had a negative impact on him when a tragedy hit. Whenever it comes back to court – it was held Friday against the Mavericks and again Sunday night against the Sheep, it will do so with a new perspective.
“It's an eye opening,” said Smith on Sunday at the Garden before the start. “You were very open.
“Be able to spend that time with the family. I appreciate the team and coach David Fizdale and my colleagues, they supported me. They allowed me to spend that time and take a step back and consider everything going on. So I understand that. ”
The 21-year-old man decided that he was ready to come back when the Knicks were in Dallas, which was not a complete coincidence. Smith was not playing against his old team, the Mavericks, who traded it as part of the folding package in the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis last January, but his old town provided a place of comfort.
“I found a lot of people with whom I am closely involved,” said Smith. “So that kind of helped. I got to talk to them, I got there a day before the game. So I got to talk to lots of people I knew, relax them. So that also helped. ”
This included a special visit to a family not far from his own tragedy. After arriving in Dallas on Thursday, Smith met again with the family of the local teenager Shavon Randle, who was kidnapped and murdered in June 2017, reporting the first Dallas Morning News. Smith had taken the family on a shopping spree last December and kept in touch with him even after his trade. It came time for Randle's brothers and brothers to choose from the school and hang them before they would give them tickets to Friday at American Airlines Center.
“I built a special relationship with them,” Smith said. “They are an extended family. So that kind of mood made my mood look. That was very great for me. ”
Smith said that he worked out every day when he was away from the team, but he was not the same as practicing or playing in games. Sunday was the seventh straight game he lost, and with the Knicks not to practice Saturday after he returned from Dallas, Smith still did not practice in nearly two weeks.
“I think most are getting the wind back,” Smith said. “You can't simulate the game or do a real exercise.”
Fizdale said that he thought “a little” to be playing Smith on Sunday, but finally he decided against him. It was indifferent to its status of Tuesday's game against the Bulls.
“It's a long time to throw someone out in an NBA game with the talent on the floor,” Fizdale said. “We don't want to put it in a bad state.”
In his three games this season, Smith was ineffective, with only one point on average and helped each game playing a total of 26 minutes. With Smith's holiday and Elfrid Payton tackling a hamstring injury, Frank Ntilikina accepted the starting point guard duties and it seems that his job is to lose.
But Smith will give him a different perspective when he returns to it.
“I'm excited to get back to the team,” he said. “It feels good to be around the guys.”
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