A lot has changed for Knicks PG Dennis Smith Jr. this summer. And it wasn't just his jumper.
Smith spoke to the media at practice Wednesday, and he admitted being down about 15 pounds since the end of last season. The Knicks had told him to cut weight, and he did just that.
Of course, that came with some food sacrifices.
"I had to change some of the things I ate," he said. I'm a country boy, man. We eat different down there."
Bojangles, a southern chicken staple, is one of Smith's favorites. However, he stayed clear of it for "most of the summer."
Smith already had tons of bounce on the court, and now lighter, that will only be scarier. In fact, according to the Daily News' Stefan Bondy, Smith actually took off from beyond the free-throw line and dunked on the Knicks' most-feared shot blocker in C Mitchell Robinson.
While those highlight-reel plays will certainly come, Smith's worked hard this offseason on his jump shot -- an area the Knicks hope he can improve on. He shot just 41.3 percent from the field with the Knicks, and an even worse 28.9 percent from beyond the arc.
A career 31.6 percent three-point shooter, the 21-year-old Smith explained how he started from scratch, working on his mechanics and seeing how the new stroke worked in a full game situation throughout the summer.
"I started out in the chair for maybe a week and then just working on my mechanics, how I'm supposed to finish on my shots and what mechanics I'm supposed to go through on each shot," he said. "Then, it was probably about two months before I really got into 5-on-5."
Though it may be a new shot and there will be kinks to work out, Smith's confidence -- one of the best assets of his game -- won't waver if he doesn't see the pill going through the net.
"I still feel good. I'm gonna still put them up, I'm gonna let 'em fly," he said.
Seeing success in that jumper early on will likely solidify Smith's role as the starting point guard on the Knicks. He has some tight competition, with free agent signee Elfrid Payton joining the group along with former first-rounder Frank Ntilikina, who is coming off a solid FIBA World Cup stint this summer.
Smith wouldn't comment specifically on the point guard competition, saying "it's stacked across the board from one through five." However, he did say that he is simply going to try to be the best version of himself for his team this season.
Whatever it takes to win, he's going to make it happen.
"I'm just looking at myself as being the best version of me, and doing whatever I need for the team to win regardless of what it is," Smith said. "I got to do my job and it's all about fulfilling your role."