3 Mavericks on Thin Ice Heading Into the Playoffs

The Dallas Mavericks are entering a crucial postseason. These three members of the organization have the most to lose from a potential failure.
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The Dallas Mavericks are back in the NBA Playoffs after a one-year hiatus. Taking it another level after the All-Star break, the Mavs finished the season as one of the hottest teams in the league. Claiming the fifth seed in the Western Conference, Dallas is facing the LA Clippers for the third time in the playoffs in the Luka Doncic era.

Even though the vibes in Dallas are generally good right now, there is also a heightened expectation for postseason success. To ensure that Luka Doncic stays a Maverick for a long time, the team needs to show that it can win at the highest level. The 2024 NBA Playoffs will be a crucial test to demonstrate how good this team actually is. Let's take a look at three members of the franchise who are on the thinnest of ice heading into the postseason.

1. Tim Hardaway Jr.

The third-highest-paid player on the Mavericks. Tim Hardaway Jr. is playing nothing like the third best player on the team. The 32-year-old shooter is only hitting 35.3% of his threes and 40.2% of his field goal attempts in general. Combine that with his usual weak defense and you have a player who will be difficult to play in the postseason.

At his best, Hardaway Jr. can be a productive scorer off the bench. Especially at times when Doncic or Kyrie Irving is on the bench, his shot generation can be valuable. But, when the Mavericks have their full roster with everyone healthy, there really isn't much of a place for THJ. In the playoffs, Irving and Doncic will both play over 40 minutes per game and Hardaway's scoring will not be needed when they are on the court.

Supplementing Dallas' two stars should be more defensive-minded, physical players like Derrick Jones Jr, Dante Exum, and Josh Green. Unless Hardaway starts hitting his shots again, his role should be minimized, making him a potential trade candidate in the offseason.