For a player who wasn’t even drafted, things seem to be looking up for Dallas Mavericks rookie Dorian Finney-Smith.
Finney-Smith has started 26 games this season and played well enough in December to be nominated for Western Conference Rookie of the Month.
The award was captured Tuesday by Buddy Hield of New Orleans. Denver’s Jamal Murray, Memphis’ Andrew Harrison and Phoenix’s Marquese Chriss wrapped up the list of nominees.
I’m playing, so that’s a blessing already.
Mavs rookie Dorian Finney-Smith
“I’m just happy to be here, happy the guys are embracing me, and I’m just trying to take it day by day and stay in the moment and enjoy it,” Finney-Smith said. “I’m playing, so that’s a blessing already.”
Finney-Smith has averaged 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game. But his offensive production is not the meat and potatoes of his game.
“He’s played consistently well, especially on the defensive end,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “His offense is continuing to improve. When you’re in the starting lineup and the team wins a few games, I guess those kinds of things can happen, so it’s good for him.”
He’s played consistently well, especially on the defensive end.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle
The Mavs enjoy that Finney-Smith relishes the idea of being a lockdown defender.
“Just being a rookie and being on a team that’s fighting to try to make a push to put ourselves in position to get to the playoffs, being a starter as a rookie, that’s something that’s very impressive,” second-year swingman Justin Anderson said. “He’s doing a great job of helping us by just locking in defensively and constantly being willing to guard anybody out there on the floor, whether it’s big guy or a small.
“He’s been very sold in and bought into what we need to do and what he has to do for us, and I think that’s something that’s helping him to be out there a lot more.”
The Mavericks introduced the Harrison Barnes All-Star Burger on Tuesday, just in time for the game against the Washington Wizards.
The burger includes pepper-jack-pickled jalapeño cheese spread, lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, Cajun spice aioli, and a grilled one-third pound patty on a corn-dusted Brioche bun.
“Just to be able to put your hands on something, especially a great burger like this, I’m very excited,” Barnes said. “This is a little more personalization, and that’s what I want.
“Sometimes, you go to different places and you try to make your favorite, but this taste great. It has exactly what I want on it.”
Barnes’ burger will be sold at American Airlines Center throughout January.