Unsung Hero: Dorian Finney-Smith

Dorian Finney-Smith

Getty Dorian Finney-Smith defends Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Dallas Mavericks are starting to get their season back on track, even though the roster still can’t stay healthy. Their recent stretch of success has primarily been driven by great defense.

In fact, over the past 15 games, the Mavericks have been the third-best defense in the entire NBA. This has resulted in them rising to a 107.3 defensive rating on the season, which is sixth in the league. 

The Mavericks are a team that have a fairly high ceiling when all of their pieces are clicking. This is especially true for Finney-Smith, as the Mavs typically have success when he personally plays well. 

An unsung hero on this Mavs roster, Finney-Smith gets it done on both ends of the floor. He’s also an extremely efficient player relative to his contract, making just $4 million this season.

Although he’s one of the best players on the entire roster, he’s rarely ever given enough credit. 

Offensive Floor Spacer

Finney-Smith has the versatility to play multiple positions for the Mavericks on offense. While he’s best suited as a wing, he stands at 6-foot-7 and has the skills to play on the perimeter or in the paint. 

On the season, Dallas is 5-2 this season (22-10 all-time) when he scores at least 15 points. This goes to show that when he has a solid offensive night, the Mavs are hard to beat. 

Additionally, he’s one of the best 3-point shooters on the entire roster. Over the past three seasons, Finney-Smith has knocked down 38.4% of his 4.7 attempts per game from beyond the arc. 

After a slow start to the season from deep, he’s started to really hit his stride as a perimeter shooter. Since the start of November, Finney-Smith has converted on 41.9% of his 3-point attempts. 

A solid wing rebounder, the veteran forward is fourth on the team with 4.9 boards per contest. 

What’s most impressive about Finney-Smith is how much he does on limited shots. He’s fifth on the team in points per game, despite taking less than nine shots per contest.  

While he’s solid on offense, the defense is just as impressive. 

Defensive Versatility 

Known for being a 3-and-D player, Finney-Smith certainty holds his own on the defensive end of the floor. He’s able to guard several positions, leveraging his athleticism and 7-foot wingspan to make like difficult for opposing offenses. 

These intangibles have helped Finney-Smith lead the team with 1.3 steals per game. Additionally, he’s second on the entire roster in blocks this season with 21. Whether it’s wrecking havoc on the perimeter or protecting the paint, Finney-Smith is able to make a defensive impact. 

Dallas Mavericks

GettyKarl-Anthony Towns gets defended by the Dallas Mavericks.

A glue guy for the Mavs, Finney-Smith leads the team in defensive win shares this season while boasting a personal 107.7 defensive rating. This is on par with the spectacular rating the Mavs have generated as a team to this point.

Whether it’s stretching the floor on offense or raising the defensive ceiling of the team, he’s a guy that is extremely important for Dallas. 

Again, Finney-Smith doesn’t get enough credit for what he does for this Mavs team. However, the front office and coaching staff know exactly how important he is, which is why he plays the second-most minutes per game of anyone on the entire roster. 


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