Dallas Mavericks: Is Dorian Finney-Smith Better as a Starter?

Nov 19, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic forward Jeff Green (34) tries to block the shot from Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic forward Jeff Green (34) tries to block the shot from Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dallas Mavericks have utilized undrafted rookie, Dorian Finney-Smith, in a number of ways this season. Is his role coming off the bench the one that suits him, or is he meant for the starting lineup?

The Dallas Mavericks are full of young talent this season, and continue to add more and more as time goes by. One of the first rookies to find a place with Dallas and one of the last to make the final cut, was undrafted rookie out of the University of Florida, Dorian Finney-Smith.

DFS has certainly had his struggles. His shooting has been inconsistent, his rebounding could certainly improve, and his decision making has room to grow. He also has had some excellent successes, including starting 29 games for the Mavs while playing very good defense in the process.

While in the starting lineup, Finney-Smith struggled with consistency, mostly with his shooting stroke. He had some decent games and some not so good games. Meanwhile, the Mavericks have had reasonable success with DFS.

Jan 26, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Domantas Sabonis (3) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 26, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Domantas Sabonis (3) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

Since replacing DFS with Seth Curry in the starting lineup, the Mavericks have looked like a different team, but we still see Finney-Smith in the starting lineup frequently, thanks to injuries. Should we really be considering keeping him in the starting lineup?

Let’s take a peak at the numbers. DFS has started in 29 of the Mavericks 47 games this season. He has only had one DNP all season, so he has played in 17 games that he did not start. For the games that he did start in, Finney-Smith averaged 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game on nearly 39% shooting.

When coming off the bench, Finney-Smith averaged only 3.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game while shooting the same 39%. Clearly there is a drop in numbers there and the play reflects it in a lot of ways. Then there are the things that numbers can’t tell us.

Dorian Finney-Smith has been an incredibly important part of the Mavericks defensive efforts this season. As an undrafted rookie, DFS has seen time against the best players in the league, including the likes of Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Paul George, and LeBron James.

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It is hard to say if DFS deserves to be in the starting lineup for the Mavs or not, but what is clear is that he has performed well and earned his spot on this team night in and night out. Having a player that can perform in as many roles as DFS is definitely worth having.