Jabari Smith Jr. did not have the most seamless of rookie seasons. The Houston Rockets, as a whole, were a mess during the 2022-23 season, winning just 22 games and drawing considerable flak around the league for lacking the veteran presences needed to help mold their youngsters into winning players. But Smith's efficiency problems and less-than-ideal shot selection did not help matters at all.

However, Smith may be primed for a huge sophomore season, if his first two 2023 NBA Summer League performances are any indication. On Sunday night, Smith had his way against the Detroit Pistons — one of the strongest teams in Vegas — torching them for 38 points and dazzling the crowd with his improved offensive arsenal.

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One play stands out in particular during his demolition job of the Pistons. With around eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Jabari Smith Jr. took on James Wiseman off the dribble near the top of the key. Smith sized up Wiseman with a crossover and proceeded to pull up right in his face as if he wasn't there. The Rockets forward swished the triple then appeared to say that Wiseman “can't guard him at all” as he was going back on defense.

James Wiseman was simply barbecue chicken for Jabari Smith Jr. Not only did he cook him from beyond the arc, he also got by him earlier in the game, scoring an incredible acrobatic off-hand layup to draw an and-one on the hapless Pistons defender.

So all things considered, it's not like Jabari Smith Jr.'s taunt towards James Wiseman was unwarranted. Smith was in his bag, which should bode well for his development as one of the long-term cornerstones for a Rockets team that has struggled over the past few seasons.

All in all, Smith had 38 points, seven rebounds, and six assists on 13-25 shooting from the field, although he did miss seven of his 10 attempts from deep on the night. It'll be interesting to watch if the Rockets youngster carries over his newfound efficiency from two during Summer League into the regular season, as he should be a much better sniper from three than he showed against the Pistons.