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Dallas Mavericks: Who is untouchable, worthwhile, and expendable?

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks roster breakdown: Dorian Finney-Smith

From one 3-and-D player to another. Before Richardson’s arrival, DFS was seen as the stopper in Dallas. His combination of toughness and length made him the ideal project player, and fans have been treated to watching Finney-Smith’s growth from a raw prospect with moldable tools to a reliable player on both ends of the court. It made the Mavs’ extension of the Florida product before last season seem like a decision with exceptional foresight.

In the first two months of the season, the newfound efficiency for Doe-Doe last year seems to be all but gone. Finney-Smith was shooting at an abysmal 40 percent clip from the field, only adding to the Mavericks’ early offensive woes. The offense runs great when Luka can penetrate and kick it out to an open shooter, but that is only effective when the guys on the perimeter are knocking down shots.

However, Finney-Smith has come alive offensively in February, shooting at a solid 45 percent from the field and an even more impressive 38.1 percent from three. It is a strange case because of how up and down his game has been. Getting a full grasp or analysis of DFS is difficult right now.

Unfortunately, Finney-Smith hasn’t been the defensive stalworth he’s built his reputation on. He’s playing aggressively, but it is not affecting the team’s defense. Doe-Doe ranks second-worst on the team in defensive rating. Add in the fact that he has never been a big-time rebounder, and it is hard justifying his place on the roster.

None of this is to say he has been playing egregiously or that his $4 million is a financial burden on the Mavs. It’s the fact that he’s not bringing much of an impact, either positive or negative. Dorian Finney-Smith is kind of just there. He’s not living up to the expectations as a plus defender as he has become more of a liability on that end of the floor. Coupled with the inconsistency of his efficiency, Finney-Smith isn’t proving to be as reliable as the Mavs would hope.

Verdict: Expendable

Next: Kleber

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