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VIDEO: Knicks’ Dennis Smith Jr. gets major air in highlight dunk

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Dennis Smith Jr. may be having a down season, but he got way up on this one. The Knicks guard showed off his ridiculous 48-inch vertical—splitting the double-team for a monster hammer all over the Charlotte Hornets early in the second quarter.

It’s been a tough year for Smith, who has battled injuries, inconsistent minutes, and personal tragedy. He’s looked lost for extended periods of time, and his shooting has been ice cold. In his first full season as a Knick, he’s played in just 32 games, averaging (by far) a career-low of 5.4 points per game on 34% shooting in just under 16 minutes per game.

Plays like the Charlotte dunk, however, flash the elite explosiveness and athleticism that made the Knicks willing to include him as the centerpiece of their return package for Kristaps Porzingis. He also displayed some of that potential in the Knicks previous game, tallying 15 points, five assists, seven rebounds, and seven steals (albeit with a -19) in a loss to Houston on Monday.

DSJ is getting some extra opportunities in Charlotte in the absence of guards Elfrid Payton (ankle), Frank Ntilikina (groin), and Wayne Ellington (illness). Knicks fans have been clamoring for DSJ and other younger players to see more minutes down the stretch.

Smith Jr.’s dunk in Charlotte resembles another one his throwdowns almost exactly one year ago, on Feb. 22, 2019 against Minnesota at the Garden: