This nine-part series takes an extensive look at Skyforce players throughout the 2021-22 season. We will highlight season and career highs, as well as the impact each player made on the court. Next, we discuss rookie point guard Mike Smith.
Smith started his 2021-22 campaign just over a year ago, where he shined at the 2021 NBA G League Elite Camp.
His play, along with a successful senior season at Michigan, helped him become the 41st overall pick in the 2021 G League Draft, where he joined Brandon Knight from his draft class on the active roster.
He appeared in 12 games in the Showcase Cup, averaging 8.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per 24.2 minutes as a crucial member off the bench for Kasib Powell.
It didn’t take long for Smith to show he belonged in the G League, as he posted 17 points on 6-14 FGA (5-9 3PA), a career-high nine rebounds and seven assists on November 28 versus Cleveland.
Mike Smith was on 🔥against the Charge
17 PTS | 9 REB | 6 AST pic.twitter.com/nnAU0gCaH7
— Sioux Falls Skyforce (@SFSkyforce) November 29, 2021
Smith would score in double figures in two of his last four outings of the Showcase Cup, with 17 points on 3-5 3PA coming at Motor City on December 8.
You can argue no Skyforce player started the regular season hotter than Smith. He posted 13 assists and a plus-24 plus-minus in just his second professional game on January 8 against Salt Lake City.
In the series finale on January 10, he followed his performance up with 19 points on 8-18 FGA, four rebounds and six assists against the Stars.
He secured a career-high 31 points on 10-18 FGA (4-7 3PA), five rebounds and six assists at Agua Caliente on January 12.
🔥 31 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB, 4 3PT 🔥
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) January 13, 2022
Smith would go on to score in double figures in 13 of the 27 remaining games he played. The Skyforce also would own a 9-3 record when Smith would post five-plus assists in the regular season.
To end the season in South Bay on March 31 and April 2, he posted 22 points on 8-16 FGA, five rebounds, seven assists and two blocks.
He would end up averaging 9.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per 27.3 minutes in 30 games during the regular season.
As someone who proved he could perform in a bench or starting role, Smith has shown he belongs at the professional level.