The Dallas Mavericks reached the conference finals last season on the strength of their defense. They took a massive leap on that side of the ball under head coach Jason Kidd, and it carried over to the playoffs. The Mavs held the Jazz to 100 or fewer points in four of the six games in their first round series before limiting to the Suns to their three worst scoring performances of the season to knock off the top seed.
Dorian Finney-Smith is the linchpin of the Mavericks defense. The 6’7 forward has the size and versatility to guard any player on the court. He draws the opposition’s top scorer almost every night, and he locked down Donovan Mitchell in the first round of the playoffs.
Doe-Doe is not just a one-way player, either. He is a key floor spacer for Luka Doncic and the Mavericks that has shot 39.5 percent over the last two seasons combined. Finney-Smith has improved his 3-point percentage every season since entering the league in 2016. He deserved recognition on the All-Defensive team last season, but the Mavs forward is one of the most underrated players in the league. That continued this week.
Dorian Finney-Smith snubbed by ESPN NBArank as he fails to make top 100
ESPN dropped their annual NBArank (subscription required), which takes a look at the top 100 players entering the season. Three Mavericks made the list, but Dorian Finney-Smith was not one of them. Doe-Doe is arguably the Mavs second-best player, but he was snubbed completely from the list.
Some of the names that made the list over Finney-Smith were wild. How is Grant Williams, who played 22.4 minutes per game last season better than Doe-Doe? Seth Curry may be the best shooter in the league, but his defense is below average. Give me the two-way threat of Finney-Smith. There were numerous other examples, but fans get the point.
The Athletic ranked (subscription required) Finney-Smith among their top 59 players in the NBA just two months ago, and that is where he deserves to be. Every team wants 3-and-D wings that can guard multiple positions and shoot over 39 percent from 3-point range. Doe-Doe fits that to a T.
For ESPN to not rank him inside the top 100 was laughable. Dorian Finney-Smith was a better player than teammates Christian Wood and Spencer Dinwiddie last season, who both made the list. Finney-Smith continues to be massively underrated, but the 6’7 forward will just keep proving everyone wrong.