Mavericks: Is Dennis Smith worth the Slam Dunk Hype?

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 12: Taurean Prince
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 12: Taurean Prince /

Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. has been selected to participate in this years Slam Dunk Contest, but can he succeed?

Dennis Smith Jr will represent the Dallas Mavericks in this years’ National Basketball Association (NBA) Slam Dunk Contest. The last time a Maverick was in the contest was back in 1997, back when Michael Finley took part in the contest.

That year, Finley would go up against former NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Chris Carr, Ray Allen, Bob Sura and Darvin Ham. The 1997 year is described as the worst dunk contest by far and for Michael Finley, it would be one he would hope to forget.

During the contest, Finley finished the first round with a 39 out of 50 score. This would be just enough to get into the finals. But then in the last round the former Mav got a mere 33 out of 500.

If there is any goal set for Smith Jr, it is not only to be the best Dallas Mavericks dunker but also the best dunker of the 2017-2018 year.

So far this season, Mavericks fans have been presented with all kinds of dunks from the infamous Maverick rookie. From 360 slams, to between the legs and even just simply rocking the rim, NBA fans have seen it all from the Dallas sensation.

Along with Smith Jr, this years list of slammers includes Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic Forward Aaron Gordon and  Los Angeles Lakers Forward Larry Nance Jr. Both Oladipo and Gordon are no strangers to the competition, as the Indiana guard and the Magic forward have been there before.

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Oladipo made it to finals in 2015, but later lost to Zach Lavine. Gordon faced the same fate in 2016 when he too made the slam dunk finals, later losing to Lavine.

For Smith Jr, maybe it’s a relief Lavine is not in this years competition. Like the Mavs rookie, this will be Nance Jr.’s first time competing in the All-Star festivities. While he may not have the experience, the Lakers forward does have the genes to take it all. reports that Nance Jr.’s father Larry Nance won the dunk competition back in 1984. Jr. was even nominated as finalist for dunk of the year last season.

Smith Jr. may not have the experience or the genes, but he does have the skill set to not only put on a show, but also take it all.

Back on November 3rd against the Sacramento Kings, Center Nerlens Noel threw a chest pass to Smith Jr. in which the rookie guard extended his arm and stretched it back as far as he could and slammed a hammer on the basket. The highlight of the dunk resembled a young Vince Carter.

There are plenty of spectacular dunks Smith Jr. had this season and some of the rookies best work even came during pregame warmups.

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Without a doubt, NBA fans all over the world will be presented with a show, not just from the Dallas rookie, but from the other three participants as well.