Dorian Finney-Smith has been a standout defender since entering the NBA in 2016. He improves in this area each year. Last season, he ranked as the 44th best defender in the NBA according to FiveThirtyEight’s DRAYMOND. That was ahead of standouts like Patrick Beverley, Anthony Davis, and Al Horford.
Finney-Smith’s versatility has been key for the Mavericks. They can start him at the three or the four, but he will literally guard anyone on the floor. Fans can look at his matchups here. DFS has taken on the likes of LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, and many of the opposition’s number one options.
Having a player willing to bear down and take on the challenge of guarding an elite scorer every night is a massive advantage. It allows Coach Rick Carlisle to build the Mavs defense around DFS. Kristaps Porzingis can check the five and protect the rim. Luka Doncic has the freedom to matchup on a lesser option, so he can conserve energy for the offensive end of the floor. The rest fill in from there.
The fact that Finney-Smith is always going against an elite scorer hurts his defensive metrics some. Encapsulating any player’s defense in one stat is difficult. Mavericks supporters know that Doe-Doe excels on this end of the floor.