Mavericks expanding role of Dorian Finney-Smith is leading to a breakout

Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith
Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith
Dallas Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks giving Dorian Finney-Smith an expanded ball-handling role

The Mavs lack of ball-handling was on full display during the team’s 2021 first-round playoff loss to the LA Clippers. Luka Doncic had to do it all as Dallas was eliminated after seven hard-fought games.

Former coach Rick Carlisle had a rigid offensive system that attempted to maximize the efficiency of every possession, which stagnated the production from some players. Kristaps Porzingis was frustrated with his role in the playoffs, and the Mavs struggled to diversify their attack against one of the league’s best perimeter defensive teams.

New head coach Jason Kidd is empowering players to do more and expand their game. He wants Dorian Finney-Smith handling the ball more because he knows his team needs more options in the postseason. Kidd had this to say about Doe-Doe’s role following the Mavericks win over the Grizzlies on Jan. 23.

"I think as we look forward, everybody is in the moment, but if we can’t develop another dribbler, it is going to be hard for LD and JB to bring the ball up. In the playoffs, they are going to take away your best and your second best. If we don’t have a third guy who can dribble the ball past half-court, we are not going to go too far, so what Doe has done has been incredible. He’ll get the rebound. His teammates trust him when he’s bringing the ball up, so it is just growth on his part. It gives him more value, and he’ll be able to make more money, so it just goes hand in hand."

Dallas needs options in the playoffs, and they are creating one in Dorian Finney-Smith. He has expanded his game every year, and the fruits of his labor are on full display. Let us take a look at some areas where Doe-Doe has improved, and what it means for the Dallas Mavericks in the postseason.