Is this Dorian Finney-Smith's breakout season?

Can this be the season Dorian Finney-Smith becomes a key member of the Dallas Mavericks?

This season will be Dorian Finney-Smith's third season in the NBA. Last year Finney-Smith played 21 games after suffering a left knee quadriceps tendinitis. The season before Finney-Smith played 81 games, but didn't impress many people with only 4.3 points a night.

With the help of his friend Dennis Smith Jr. and rookie Luka Doncic, Finney-Smith can become a much better player.

An unlucky start to an NBA career

After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft, Dorian Finney-Smith managed to get an opening-night roster spot in 2016 after impressing the Mavericks during training camp and preseason. After playing less than five minutes over the first five games of the 2016–17 season, Finney-Smith played 31 minutes on November 6, 2016, against the Milwaukee Bucks where he scored five points, grabbed three rebounds, three steals and one block in an 86–75 win.

On December 12, 2016, Finney-Smith had career highs in points and rebounds, finishing with 13 points and nine boards in a 112–92 win over the Denver Nuggets, and on December 18, he had a high of 17 points in a 99–79 win over the Sacramento Kings. The 2016-17 season went well for Dorian, Mavs fans were excited to see how Finney-Smith could improve going into his second season. However, Finney-Smith only played 21 games in the 2017-18 season. Dorian missed 51 straight games, and 57 overall with left knee quadriceps tendinitis. He returned on March 10 but he wasn't fully fit. 

Preseason

This season is going to be a big year for Finney-Smith, he has to show that he belongs on this Mavs team. In the preseason, he has been really impressive. He has been very confident and has been taking shots that he wouldn't have taken last season. In his first pre-season game against the Bejing Ducks, Dorian played 25 mins, scored 7 points, grabbed 3 steals, 5 rebounds and picked up 2 assists.

Even though this game was against a non-NBA team this is still an impressive performance by Dodo. In his second preseason matchup the Mavs played the 76ers, this was a less impressive performance but he still played 21mins, scored 4, grabbed 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 2 assists.

While he might not light up the box score he really has an effect on the defensive end. The Mavs then played the 76ers again in China, this time he played 23 mins, scored 8 while shooting 50% from three and blocking two shots. His best game came against the Charlotte Hornets in the last preseason game, where he played 26 minutes, and scored 13 points shooting 50% from deep with 7 rebounds to make an impressive performance. 

What can Finney-Smith do next?

This new Mavs team is looking very impressive, with a push the Mavs can break into the 8th seed in the West. They would have to win +16 more games than last season, this is a big push. However, if you look back at last season you can see that the Mavs lost a lot of games in the 4th quarter and in the closing minutes of games. With the help of star rookie Luka Doncic and our new center DeAndre Jordan, the Mavs could make up these 16 games. Barnes/Luka will probably start at the 3 for most of the season, so Dorian can come off the bench. Dorian can average about 25 minutes a night, with Powell and Dirk playing the 4/5 and Salah playing the 5. With these steady minutes, Dorian can break out into a useful player off the bench for the Mavs. He can bring the defense to the second unit.

If Finney-Smith keeps working on his jump shot and his defense, he can be a very good second option two-way player behind Harrison Barnes.

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