Dallas Mavericks player profile: Dorian Finney-Smith
By Kohl Rast
Of all the Dallas Mavericks players who may be fighting for a roster spot, Dorian Finney-Smith is probably my favorite to earn a place in the rotation. Although he missed a lot of last year, I believe he will come back strong this season. What can we expect from Dodo in 2018-19?
The Dallas Mavericks have some limited wing depth this year as of now. Harrison Barnes, Luka Doncic and Wesley Matthews will likely share the wing duties in the starting lineup. At this time it is unclear where Coach Carlisle wants to put these guys as far as position is concerned. Regardless, all three of them will likely see time at the wing positions this season.
Off the bench, the Mavs have some question marks. Ryan Broekhoff and Devin Harris appear to be likely recipients of minutes at the 2 and 3 spots. That remains to be seen, but they seem like the obvious backup candidates. After that, the Mavs will have some combination of Dorian Finney-Smith, Ding Yanyuhang, Kostas Antetokounmpo, and Daryl Macon.
Each of these guys will likely spend any time that they get on the court at those positions. It is not the best group of wings the Mavericks have ever had, but there is some potential there. My pick to really surprise people, though, is definitely Dorian Finney-Smith. Dodo has been working hard on his game since last year and now he will have a real chance to prove it.
With an improved shot and his defensive awareness getting better and better, DFS has a shot at being a regular rotation player for Dallas going into his third year after being an undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida. Here are some things we can expect from Dodo.
At his best, Dorian is actually a decent three-point shooter. His form is improving and his streakiness is getting better. I think that Dodo will be on the court specifically for his shooting at some point this season. That would be pretty incredible considering that his shooting in the first two seasons left a lot to be desired.
His biggest strength is definitely his defense, though. At 6’8″, 220 lbs., DFS is tasked a lot with defending the best player on the other team, we saw that the most in his rookie season thanks to injury last year, but this season he will be back to matching up with some of the best players on the planet.
The fact that Dorian can be so good and is still not a lock for a roster spot is pretty interesting. I think he is close to a lock, but there are some games where he really looks timid and out of place on the court. If that happens too much prior to the season, Carlisle may be inclined to offer his spot to someone who is ready for it.
Also, as mentioned before, his shooting can be pretty streaky. If it continues to be streaky next year, his minutes will be more limited than they could be.
I am looking forward to Dorian Finney-Smith this year and think he will surprise some people. Either way, the Mavs need wing depth and I think DFS is going to be the best option off the bench.