SAD NEWS: Just In Dallas Maverick Confirm Departure Of Another Top Experienced Star As Star Leave and…….

SAD NEWS: Just In Dallas Maverick Confirm Departure Of Another Top Experienced Star As Star Leave and…….

Dallas Mavericks are rolling but they need to get real about Tim Hardaway Jr.
Mac Engel

His dad definitely won’t like to hear this, but Tim Hardaway Jr. is shooting his way off the Dallas Mavericks.

Once a key piece to the future success of the Mavs, the small forward who came here as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade has run into a wall that looks more like a brick ceiling.

As the Mavericks’ second round playoff series against the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder has evolved, a few things have become clear:

No. 1: Luka Doncic is not a bad man, but a closer Batman. In the Mavs’ blowout win at OKC on Wednesday night, a one-legged Doncic scored 31 points with 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

He made an effort to cut down on the whining to the refs, and it’s not a coincidence he played his best game of these playoffs.

The Mavs can close out this series and advance to the Western Conference Finals by defeating the Thunder on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center.

No. 2: Mavs coach Jason Kidd is out-coaching his counterpart, OKC’s Mark Daigneault.

Had the Mavs made any of their free throws in Game 4, this series would be over.

Before Game 5, Daigneault smashed the panic button when he elected to sit starter Josh Giddey. It was evident during Game 3 that Giddey, a player who has started all 210 games of his three-year NBA career, has no real place in this series.

That’s what can happen in a seven-game series. Players are exposed, and matchups dictate lineups.

And Daigneault still should have started Giddey. Start him, and take him out early.

Conversely, Kidd’s major adjustment was to insert Jaden Hardy into the lineup off the bench, which took away from Hardaway’s potential time on the floor. It was a telling switch to see Hardy playing and Hardaway sitting.

No. 3: Tim Hardaway Jr. is not a third scorer. He’s a scorer who every so often scores the third most points in the lineup.

Oh no, Tim Hardaway Jr.

— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) May 16, 2024

When the Mavericks handed Hardaway Jr. a four-year, $75 million contract in 2021, it was with the idea that he would mature into a reliable third, or second, scorer.

At the time he was 28, and entering the prime years of his career. In terms of NBA logic, this was not a horrible deal.

The problem is that what he was then is what he is today. Maybe not quite as good.

He’s an ish ball handler who can’t penetrate or create his own shot. He’s a meh defender. He’s not big enough or interested enough to be an elite rebounder for his position.

He’s not lazy or a problem. He’s like a lot of other NBA players who are convinced they are better than they are.

He is only effective when his jump shot is falling, thus making him an unreliable option. We’re not talking about Steph Curry or Klay Thompson here.

When that outside shot is not falling, not only is THJ not a No. 3 scorer, but he’s a No. 1 liability.

In these playoffs, where he missed five games in the first round because of injury, he’s averaging 7 points on 40% shooting.

In Game 5, Hardy played 15 minutes; he had played 19 minutes in the Mavs’ previous 10 playoff games combined.

For a player who made 1 of 5 shots, he made a positive impact on other areas of the game; three rebounds, two assists, and respectable defense.

It’s the “other areas” where Hardaway’s presence is glaring. Other than the Mavs’ win in Game 2, where he scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, his presence on the floor looks a lot like a problem.

That’s what happens in the playoffs. Players are exposed.

The other problem is that his dad is Tim Hardaway. Tim is one of the best ball handlers/penetrators in NBA history who is unafraid of his opinions and will go to bat for his son in front of any microphone.

He’s not Gilbert Arenas-level crazy, or Kendrick Perkins-level loud, but the man who made the UTEP 2-step a thing is prone to say sentences that make you think, “Maybe, he has a point.”

(For the uninitiated, both Arenas and Perkins are former NBA players whose loud, inane opinions, can sadly be heard from ESPN to social media).

Because he’s Tim Hardaway, a Hall of Famer whose credentials should buy air time in your head, you would think he knows what he’s talking about. He’s made some comments about Doncic that would make anyone wonder if the source of his information is his son.

Disregard who Tim Hardaway Jr.’s dad is, and just watch the game. Look at the lineups. Watch the rotations.

Tim Hardaway won’t want to hear this but Tim Hardaway Jr. is a jump shooter whose only value is when he’s making jump shots.

When those jumpers aren’t falling, he’s not a No. 3 scorer but rather a No. 1 liability.

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