Arena Plus: Dorian Finney-Smith's Defense

Exceptional Perimeter Defense

Dorian Finney-Smith consistently guards the opponent's best wing players. He distinguishes himself with quick lateral movement and disruptive hand activity. His defensive strategy revolves around these key points:

  • Neutralizing three-point shooters
  • Preventing dribble penetration
  • Contest shots without fouling

He reduces the scoring efficiency of opposing wings by a significant margin, evidenced by a defensive rating often hovering around 105, which is well below league average.

Versatile Defensive Matchups

Finney-Smith easily switches between guarding shooting guards, small forwards, and even power forwards. His versatility contributes directly to a flexible team defense. Key matchup advantages include:

  • Ability to guard multiple positions effectively
  • Executing switches on pick-and-rolls
  • Strong rotational awareness

His ability to adapt to various matchups exacerbates the opposition's game plan, often leading to distractions and forced errors for the opposing team.

Impressive Metrics

Across the 2022-2023 season, Finney-Smith's impact on defense can be quantified by several metrics. His Defensive Box Plus-Minus (DBPM) frequently registers above 1.0, showcasing his value on that end of the court. Additional notable statistics include:

  • Average steals per game: 1.2
  • Average blocks per game: 0.5
  • Defensive Win Shares (DWS): 2.8

These metrics underline his importance in forcing turnovers and securing defensive rebounds, crucial for initiating fast breaks and scoring opportunities.

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Advanced Defensive Techniques

Finney-Smith often employs advanced defensive techniques that go beyond basic footwork and positioning. These techniques focus on psychological elements and anticipating opponent’s moves. He excels in:

  • Pre-positioning to cut off driving lanes
  • Reading opponent’s eyes and body language
  • Using angles to force inferior shots

His intuitive grasp of these techniques results in consistently poor shooting percentages for those he guards, sometimes keeping them below 40% from the field.

On-Court Leadership

Beyond his physical and technical prowess, Finney-Smith commands respect on the court as a defensive leader. He frequently directs teammates during defensive switches and rotations. Significant leadership attributes include:

  • Communicating defensive assignments during fast breaks
  • Encouraging team morale during defensive lapses
  • Serving as a mentor for younger players

His presence elevates the overall team defense, fostering a culture of accountability and effort through each possession.


Finney-Smith's defensive contributions make him an indispensable asset. His multifaceted approach, backed by decisive metrics and a robust understanding of both fundamental and advanced techniques, exemplifies elite defense. Future talents can learn much from studying his gameplay, which remains as effective as ever in disrupting some of the best offensive players in the league.

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