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The Sports Daily
Rick Carlisle predicts Dennis Smith will become a ‘great player’

Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has already made his presence on the court felt just a few months into his NBA career, and is in the running for the Rookie of the Year award.

Smith has averaged 13.8 points, 4.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds so far this season, and is a big reason why the team has begun to turn things around, going 2-2 in their last four games, after previously dropping six of seven.

The Mavericks pulled off one of their biggest wins of the season on Tuesday night, with a 98-93 upset win over the Raptors. Head coach Rick Carlisle spoke to reporters after the victory, and delivered some high praise for Smith in doing so.

“Tonight convinced me that this kid is going to be a great player,” Carlisle said. via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “He just really energized the entire team.”

Smith didn’t shoot the ball all that well in the game, scoring eight points, and making only three of 14 field goals he attempted. He did dish out four assists, though, and only turned the ball over once — an issue that often plagues rookies.

The Mavericks young guard, to his credit, seemed to be unfazed by his shooting struggles, and remained positive in leading his team to victory.