Dennis Smith Jr.
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Dennis Smith Jr. is leaving no stone unturned; switching up his diet and shot in preparation for the New York Knicks’ 2019-20 season.

All professional athletes have their guilty pleasures. Yet in order to lock up the starting point guard spot for the New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr. has decided to stay away from the fried chicken fast-food chain Bojangles.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Smith’s previous experience with a back injury served as a catalyst to prioritize diet and flexibility prior to his third season in the NBA. Smith explained that coming from the South, getting rid of old habits was not the easiest thing in the world.

“Yeah, I had to change some of the things I ate,’’ Smith said. “I’m a country boy. We eat different down there. I don’t think it’s anything in particular that I cut out, it’s what I added in. I started getting these fruit smoothies, spinach and kale, I can just use that for breakfast, it’s lighter.’’

Smith also added that he feels “good” about his shot and is going to “put em’ up” this season. This comes on the heels of Smith’s much-publicized summer workouts highlighting his jump-shot which seemed to have less of a hitch. Smith and Knicks lead assistant coach Keith Smart have spent much of the summer working together to improve on his career 31% mark from the three-point line.

Indeed Smith’s work and attention to detail will have to be up to par as he will receive heavy competition for minutes from teammates Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina. Head coach David Fizdale has already been complementary of Payton’s tenacity on defense and Ntilikina is coming off what may be his most impressive two-months of basketball during the FIBA World Cup.

Smith might one of the few Knicks where his own individual success is almost a direct correlate to the team’s success. If Smith improves his shot and play-making abilities, the narrative surrounding the Knicks may change from that of a lottery-bound team to a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.

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