Dallas Mavericks: Dorian Finney-Smith is becoming key to playoff run
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks topped the Washington Wizards 125-124 on May 1 after Dorian Finney-Smith drilled the game-winning 3-pointer with under ten seconds remaining. There was much talk about Luka Doncic’s 30-point 20-assist triple-double, but Doe-Doe deserves plenty of the spotlight.
Finney-Smith was incredible. The Wizards decided to double-team Doncic in the second half on every pick and roll, which forced the rest of the Mavericks to step up. Doe-Doe did not disappoint. He finished with 22 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 40 minutes on Saturday night’s win. Finney-Smith made eight of his 12 field-goal tries, including connecting on six 3-pointers.
His hot night from downtown pushed him over 40 percent from long range on the season. Doe-Doe cannot miss right now. Here is a look at why he is the key to the Mavericks making a run in the postseason.
Dorian Finney-Smith is becoming key to Dallas Mavericks making a playoff run
For the season, Finney-Smith’s numbers do not jump off the screen. He averages 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 32.4 minutes per game. Doe-Doe is making a career-high 2.1 3-pointers a night on 40.2 percent. Those numbers pale in comparison to what Finney-Smith is doing down the stretch.
Over his last ten games played (Finney-Smith was rested against the Pistons on April 29), he averages 14.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 3.2 3-pointers made in 34.2 minutes per game. The 27-year-old forward is shooting 57.6 percent from the field and 52.5 percent on his threes.
Fans have seen him increase his drives over that stretch too. Doe-Doe averages just 2.6 per game on the season, but that number climbs to 4.0 since April 12. If teams attempt to chase him off the line, Finney-Smith is proving he can get inside and finish.
The Dallas Mavericks have won three straight and six of their last seven games. Kristaps Porzingis has missed four of those contests and could be out longer as he battles knee soreness. Luka Doncic has been lifting the team out of the play-in tournament, but he has received plenty of help from Dorian Finney-Smith.
Luka is the straw that stirs the Mavs’ drink. They need him performing like a superstar to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since they won the championship in 2011, but Finney-Smith is their second most important player right now. He provides key spacing for Luka. Doe-Doe is connecting any time the defense leaves him open and showing the ability to make a few necessary plays.
That all goes without mentioning his massive defensive impact. Finney-Smith guards the opposition’s leading scorer nearly every night. He has to slow down the elite players and be the engine of the Mavericks defense. He is passing that test with flying colors. Tim MacMahon tweeted this after the May 1 win over the Wizards.
The Dallas Mavericks have been searching for a 3-and-D wing next to Luka Doncic since his rookie season. Dorian Finney-Smith has transformed into one and makes the team that much more dangerous as the playoffs approach.