Dallas Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. key to successful playoff run

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks have the NBA world watching, as Luka Doncic and company have the Los Angeles Clippers on the brink of elimination. Now the big question will be: Can the team win a playoff game at home? It will be up to Doncic’s counterparts to step up as the team looking to close out the series this weekend.

One key factor in a successful playoff run will be Doncic’s right-hand man at guard. Tim Hardaway Jr. will be the deciding factor. The team will have to rely on his shoulders if they hope to compete with the rest of the Western Conference.

The Dallas Mavericks need Tim Hardaway Jr to be at his best if they hope to advance in the playoffs

Lets look at the facts:

Hardaway Jr. needs to score at least 20 or more

If you look at the three wins for Dallas, the team has won whenever their shooting guard has averaged 20 points or more. In game 1, Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points in 32 minutes of play. His same trend continued in game 2, where he had 28 points in an extended 28 points.

Fast forward to Wednesday night’s game and the Hardaway Jr. winning streak continued as he had 20 points. If you don’t believe me, just look at the team’s two playoff losses. In game 3, Hardaway Jr. had just 12 points and in game 4 he had a mere 7 points.  So the answer is simple: let Hardaway score 20 points or more and Dallas will for sure win.

Let Hardaway Jr. shot from long-range

Another key component of Dallas’ playoff winning streak is Hardaway’s shot from behind the three-point line. Game 1 was no different as the Mavericks’ shooting guard shot 5 for 9 from behind the arc. Just examine game 2 and Hardaway’s trend continued as he hit 50 percent of his threes.

The numbers don’t lie: when Hardaway Jr. is hot from three, there is no stopping the Mavericks winning streak. I mean in the disastrous game 4 loss, the veteran guard went zero for four from behind the arc and everyone knows how that game ended. To put it into basic terms: let Hardaway Jr. shot and the result should be just what Dallas is looking for.

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Lastly let Hardaway Jr. continue to start

Even before the playoffs started, Hardaway Jr. played a significant role in Dallas securing the 5th seed. As a starter, Doncic’s counterpart has averaged 18.6 points per game, to go with 3.4 rebounds and 2 assists. In their last 10 games of the season, the team went 7-3 and a majority part of their winning ways, was due to the fact that Coach Rick Carlisle moved Hardaway Jr. back into the team’s starting lineup.

The record holds true, when the veteran guard is the starting unit, the team has a high chance of winning.

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If the team hopes to go far in the playoffs, then the answer is simple: let Hardaway Jr. start and let him do his thing on the floor.

  • Published on 06/04/2021 at 12:12 PM
  • Last updated at 06/04/2021 at 12:13 PM