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Dallas Mavericks: 3 players who need to step up on defense

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith
Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks who need to step up on defense: 2. Dorian Finney-Smith

Dorian Finney-Smith was unquestionably the Mavs best perimeter defender last season as he consistently took on the lead ball-handler or most difficult matchup. The 6’7 wing rarely gets credit for his defensive chops as he has quietly turned into an underrated 3-and-D option.

Doe-Doe figures to the team’s top option again, especially at the point of attack. Bullock may guard the opposition’s top scorers, but it will be Finney-Smith on the point guards. That will allow head coach Jason Kidd to play Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. on the lesser options when the four players share the floor late in games.

Finney-Smith ranked 59th in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus last season, and there is no denying his contributions on this end of the floor. Kidd will need Doe-Doe to take another step forward in his sixth NBA season as the 28-year-old should be in the middle of his prime and playing the best basketball of his career.

Having someone that can make life difficult on the opposition’s top playmaker is a massive luxury. The Dallas Mavericks are hoping Dorian Finney-Smith can be just that as they look to continue climbing the standings, but none of it will matter if they do not get more from the top player on this list.