Jerry Smith and the Springfield Armor head out west to Reno, Nev. for the 2012 D-League Showcase. The event is held for four days, Jan. 9-12, has been around in 2004-2005 season as a way to get more exposure for players from general managers and scouts from all 30 NBA teams.
On the Armor 10-man roster, Smith has the potential to be one of the standouts in next week’s event.
Back in early December, Smith along with teammate JamesOn Curry and current-New Jersey Net Dennis Horner, was invited to Nets training camp.
“I was very excited,” said Smith, the former Louisville Cardinal. “I knew it was going to be a great opportunity ahead of me.”
Smith, a 6-foot-2 190-lb guard, has a strong all-around game. Offensively he has a well-balanced scoring game. He can drive to the lane and finish at the rim or he can step back and stroke from behind the arc.
On the defensive side of the ball, Smith is a gritty on-the-ball defender, rarely giving up space to the opposing ball handler.
At Nets training camp, Smith’s defensive prowess was tested with the New Jersey backcourt. During the camp, Smith was matched up against Deron Williams, a consensus top three point guard, knock down shooter Anthony Morrow, and a hungry rookie MarShon Brooks.
Although he didn’t make the cut, Smith was happy with the feedback he received from the Nets.
“They thought I did real well with my defensive presence,” said the Wisconsin native. “I was able to knock down open shots and run the offense the right way. I thought I did well when I was there.”
That training camp invitation gave Smith a glimpse of the NBA, which has added a little confidence and motivation to his game.
“It’s positive reinforcement,” said Smith. “It lets you know that all the hard work is paying off and that you’re heading in the right direction.”
Smith gets another chance to make an impression on NBA executives at next week’s showcase and he is eager to perform in front of dozens general managers and scouts.
“I’m going to go out there and compete the same way I’ve been doing,” said Smith. “I’m not trying to do anything special, just play hard and play the right way.”
Although he is averaging 18.7 points per game, Smith wants to show off his on the ball defense, which he believes is his way of getting a coveted call-up.
“You’re not going to shot your way [into the NBA], they got a ton of shooters,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the defensive end for me.”
Smith and the Armor take on the Los Angeles D-Fenders Jan. 9 at 3:45 p.m. which will be aired live on NBATV.