Dallas Mavericks Defensive Player of the Game candidate: 5. Dorian Finney-Smith
The Mavs have missed Dorian Finney-Smith over the last six games. He was stuck in Denver quarantining as part of the league’s health and safety protocols. Dallas needs his defense and versatility to make a deep playoff run this season.
He should be nearing a return, though. Finney-Smith has already missed two weeks of action, so expect him to be back in short order.
Finney-Smith always draws one of the opposition’s best scorers. He averages about 30 minutes per game and is one of the team’s top perimeter defenders. The only thing missing from his Defensive Player of the Game candidacy is the rim protection.
Doe-Doe crashes the glass and gets the Mavericks extra possessions with offensive rebounds. Not sure that will factor into coach Carlisle’s criteria, but he often discusses the importance of limiting the other team to one shot.
Dorian Finney-Smith will have nights where he locks down an elite scoring threat and earns the belt. Expect a handful of wins for Doe-Doe this season. The Dallas Mavericks glut of options will keep him from taking home the honors most, though. Finney-Smith does not many games where he produces eye-popping stats, and that will hold him back slightly.
Next: No. 4