It’s time for the Dallas Mavericks to hand over some of Wesley Matthews’ minutes to Dorian Finney-Smith. Here’s why
Everyone seems to be piling on Wesley Matthews these days. Whether it’s because of his undiscerning shot selection, his ill-timed fouls, or his bloated usage rate which steals opportunities from rookie Luka Doncic, Wes has his share of haters around Mavs Land.
While watching the young bucks, Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr., is fun on the offensive end of the court, they’re not so much fun to watch on the defensive side. That’s why we have Matthews. Frankly, reserve guards J.J. Barea and Jalen Brunson aren’t any better. All of these players are liabilities on defense and should be matched up with a defensive-minded player to compensate for their shortcomings.
And it’s that niche that makes Wesley Matthews so darn important.
Matthews came to the Dallas Mavericks roughly three years ago as a glorified 3-and-D guy. He was always best as a complementary piece rather than a primary option, yet given the state of the Mavs roster at the time, Matthews was forced to become something he’s not.
As explained last week, he’s having a tough time shifting back out of that role now that the cornerstone pieces are in place. The problematic result of that is Wesley Matthews is controlling the ball far too often and stunting the growth of Luka Doncic and the Dallas offense in the process.
It’s true the Dallas Mavericks don’t have many options in place of Matthews. In fact, Dorian Finney-Smith may be the only viable candidate to take on a portion of Wesley’s role. The good news is DFS looks like he’s ready for the challenge of a bigger role. And with Wes struggling, there’s no better time than now to take action.
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Dorian Finney-Smith is already a strong defender, but he’s long struggled developing his shot. Nine games into his third season, DFS has found his shot. In the Mavs embarrassing loss to the Knicks, DFS broke out and became the only good thing on an otherwise terrible night. Scoring 19 points and collecting 7 rebounds, Dorian instantly became an option to replace Wes in the starting lineup.
On the season, DFS is shooting .525 from the field and .419 from deep (compared to Matthews who’s shooting .414 and .347 respectively). According to Basketball Reference.com, DFS is also topping Wes in offensive rating (123 vs 112), in Box Plus/Minus (0.8 vs -2.7), and win share per 48 minutes (.103 vs 0.65).
Best of all, DFS can do it all without anything close to the touches Wesley Matthews requires (DFS usage percentage: 13 vs Matthews usage percentage: 21.1 and DFS field goal attempts per 36 min: 9.3 vs Matthews FG attempts per 36: 15.1).
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Since we can all agree Luka Doncic needs the ball as often as possible, separating Matthews and Doncic seems like the obvious solution. Dorian Finney-Smith makes that separation possible.
- Published on 11/05/2018 at 21:01 PM
- Last updated at 11/05/2018 at 12:58 PM