The Dallas Mavericks held their annual open practice for the fans today and, while there, a few things really stuck out to me. One of those things was the intriguing sight of seeing Dorian Finney-Smith taking over the scrimmage for a time. Is his roster spot potentially up for grabs?
Dorian Finney-Smith made his big league debut with the Dallas Mavericks last season after going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. DFS spent his time playing college ball with the Florida Gators before trying his luck in the NBA. He came in under the best of circumstances as the Mavs were extremely short-handed and relied on rookies to fill in rotation pieces.
During his first professional season, Dorian Finney-Smith struggled regularly. Aside from his hard-nosed defensive nature, Finney-Smith did not have very consistent play while on the court. His shooting and ball-handling both had a lot of room for improvement and his decision making definitely ended the season as a question mark.
Today at the Dallas Mavericks open practice, Dorian showed that he understood what kind of position he is in right now. Despite some really good flashes during his summer league play, there was still a lot of concern about his fit with the team going forward. In the scrimmage, though, he showed that he is able to compete at a high level still.
There was a stretch during the blue-and-white scrimmage today where Finney-Smith scored at least 7 straight points. On the court with him at that time included Yogi Ferrell, Maxi Kleber, and a few other players who are also trying to show the coach that they deserve a spot. He also made an emphasis on grabbing rebounds, attacking the rim, and playing some tight defense against whoever he matched up on.
This just shows the obvious state of fear that DFS must be in, knowing that his preseason performance could determine if he has a job with the Mavs this season. Dallas is a little shorthanded on the wings this year which will help his case, but Finney-Smith still has to prove he deserves time over summer league standout, Brandon Ashley.
I think that today’s practice shows that he knows his position, but also shows that he can step up and make things happen when he needs to. As the preseason actually starts rolling, DFS will claim his spot with the team once again. Hopefully next year he won’t cut it so close.