Dorian Finney-Smith is the linchpin of the Dallas Mavericks defensive improvements
Coach Jason Kidd made it clear that improving the Mavs’ defense was a goal from day one. The typical benchmark of a title contender is being top ten in both offensive and defensive rating. Dallas led the league in offensive rating in 2020 and was bounced in the first round of the playoffs as the seventh seed. They had the same fate one year later with a strong offense and a defense that ranked in the middle of the pack.
The Mavericks have climbed to seventh in defensive rating this season after Kidd changed the scheme got the team committed to getting stops. Dorian Finney-Smith is still guarding the opposition’s best scorer every night, but he has improved to the point where he is garnering All-Defensive team consideration.
Doe-Doe will check anyone from Kevin Durant to Donovan Mitchell to Paul George to Devin Booker. Taking on that role means giving up some points, but it is worth noting that when matched up on Finney-Smith that group shot 26 of 78 this season, according to NBA Stats. The addition of Reggie Bullock has helped the Mavericks' defense, but Doe-Doe has been the linchpin of their success.
Dorian Finney-Smith is playing the best basketball of his career this season, and the team rewarded him with a new four-year extension worth $55.6 million. Expect him to continue improving as the Dallas Mavericks look to become yearly title contenders, and it will be fun to watch what new wrinkles Doe-Doe can add to his game.