DALLAS - In 2000, the movie "The Replacements" told a tale about a bunch of guys who were never given a thought, filling in for professional football players during a strike. In that movie, the Washington Sentinels were trailing at halftime of a big game.
When asked what his team needed to make a comeback, the coach, played by Gene Hackman answered: "Heart! Miles and miles of heart!"
Move to the real world of sports now, and know that the Dallas Mavericks have exactly that. It starts with Luka Doncic, but a very close second in level of "miles of heart'' is Dorian Finney-Smith.
Recently, Finney-Smith cautioned his Mavericks against feeling the need to "chase stars, meaning that with this group, "fit'' also matters.
Patrick Lencioni, in his book titled The Ideal Team Player, offers three aspects that any ideal team player possesses. That person is hungry, humble and smart.
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We don't toss around the word "ideal'' easily around here. But check out how Finney-Smith fits the profile:
Hungry - You are going to be hard-pressed to find a player more hungry than Dorian Finney-Smith. He has continue to improve on his game every year since going undrafted in 2016. This season he reached highest average point total of his career with 11.0, as well as his highest three-point percentage of his career at 39.5 percent.
Going undrafted will make the right guy "hungry.''
Humble - Finney-Smith has proven himself to be one of those guys that is willing to do the "dirty" work, or whatever the Mavericks need to help them win. He delivered numerous times in this year's playoffs when Dallas needed him the most - and his teammates were lifted by his accomplishments, speaking to what they think of him.
Smart - This is intelligence of a sort - DallasBasketball.com long ago started calling it "BBIQ.'' It has to do with doing the right thing and making the right next move. Finney-Smith's unselfish play to try and get his teammates open looks is just proof of his ability to make the right play. Averaging less than one turnover per game is a big indicator of this as well.
Luka has said he would want to play with Finney-Smith for the rest of his career. Why? In part, trust in his smarts.
All of these aspects make Finney-Smith a huge asset to Dallas. Some might think that means he's an enticing trade piece, and that's always possible. But the Mavs might have to travel a lot of figurative miles to find a replacement who matches Dorian Finney-Smith's heart.