Dallas Mavericks: Grading Dorian Finney-Smith’s 2019-2020 season

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith
Dallas Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks defense: Dorian Finney-Smith

The Mavs envisioned Finney-Smith as a 3-and-D option when they signed him back in 2016. The defense has always been strong, but the shooting was lacking. He found his jumper this season, but did his defense suffer?

Finney-Smith averaged 5.5 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game. The traditional stats have never told the story of his defense, though.

The 27-year-old is unquestionably the Mavs’ most trusted perimeter defender.

If you do not believe me, take one look at his matchups on NBA Stats. The players he guarded most this season were DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Ingram, LeBron James, and Damian Lillard. Four All-Stars with Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and James Harden lurking in his top-ten. It is difficult to put up numbers when you have to guard an All-Star every single night.

The advanced metrics were incredibly consistent. Finney-Smith ranked 109th in defensive win shares with 1.6. He was 96th in defensive box score plus-minus. ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus had him 101st, and FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR placed him 102nd.

Defensive grade: A-

Admittedly, I agonized over this mark. Finney-Smith should get a bit of leniency because he takes on the toughest matchup ever night. Ultimately, I believed he was underrated on this end of the floor which resulted in the A-minus grade.

Next: Overall grade