Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith has been one of the best defensive wings in the NBA over the last few months. So much so that Doe-Doe is more than worthy of a spot on one of the All-NBA defensive teams. This year, there is stiff competition, but Finney-Smith deserves it as much as anyone.
He has been good defensively for years, but the 6'7 forward has taken it to a whole new level this year. His efforts were paid in full when he received a four-year contract extension worth $55.6 million, and he has lived up to the deal.
Dorian Finney-Smith is playing his best defensive ball on an elite defensive team, and it is time he gets the credit he deserves.
Making the case for Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith to make the All-Defensive team
Night in and night out, Dorian takes on the challenge of guarding the opposing team's best player and does it effectively. He did a fantastic job against Donovan Mitchell, forcing him into tough shots towards the end of that matchup. Mitchell shot five of 19 for the game, and Finney-Smith's defense on him down the stretch was a massive reason the Mavs got that crucial win against Utah.
Doe-Doe was also excellent against Jayson Tatum on March 13. Although the Mavericks constantly doubled Kevin Durant, DFS held his own when he was left alone with arguably the best scorer in the league.
The one-on-one defense DFS can play is extremely important to the team, but having great individual defenders don't always translate into a good defensive team. The Mavericks communicate very well with one another and allow themselves to switch on and off players frantically.
Dorian is, without a doubt, this team's defensive leader, and his communication is the backbone of the defense. His voice and overall communication don't show up on the stat sheet, but it's crucial to the team's defensive resurgence.
Finney-Smith's defense has stood out for a long time, but what he's done this year as the vocal leader has been paramount to the team's defensive improvements. He sets an example with his help defense, and he always seems to be super engaged defensively. He has very few, if any, lapses in concentration.
Maxi Kleber is this team's most underrated defender, and Reggie Bullock might be the best one-on-one perimeter defender. Still, in my eyes, Dorian Finney-Smith is the Mavericks' best and most important defensive piece by a comfortable margin because of his versatility.
And I label DFS as a piece because that is precisely what he is for this team. He can be plugged and placed into many different defensive roles. Whether it's against a smaller guard like Donovan Mitchell, a bigger wing like Jayson Tatum, or even a skilled big man like Domantas Sabonis, Dorian can do it all.
Coming into the league as unheralded as Dorian Finney-Smith was, being named to an all-defensive team would be a gigantic accomplishment. He's improved on both sides of the ball significantly, and I think something more than just a pat on the back would serve him the right amount of recognition he deserves.
Being the best defender on a borderline top-five defense in basketball has to count for something, and hopefully, that comes in the form of an all-defensive team selection for Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith.