TORONTO – The Dallas Mavericks were dealt a serious blow when they announced a few minutes ago that point guard Dennis Smith Jr. will not play in Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to a sprained right ankle.
Rookie Jalen Brunson will start in Smith’s place. Brunson, who was the 33rd overall pick of last June’s NBA Draft, has averaged 5.5 points and 1.3 assists in 18.1 minutes per game this season.
Smith rolled his right ankle late in Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks and did not return. But after that 111-104 loss to the Hawks, Smith told the media he could have gone back into the game if he was asked to.
Smith went through some pre-game warmups drills Friday at Scotiabank Arena. However, less than an hour before tipoff it was announced that he will not play against the Raptors.
Although the Mavs will be without Smith, forward Harrison Barnes will make his season debut against the Raptors. Barnes hasn’t played since last season after spraining his right hamstring last month during the first week of training camp.
Friday’s game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. CT.