Tim Hardaway Jr. is one of the team’s top three players, and the Dallas Mavericks have one of the better rosters in the NBA’s Western Conference.
When Hardaway Jr. was acquired by Dallas in January of this year, he was initially seen as a salary filler in the larger Kristaps Porzingis deal. Now, he’s established himself as one of the Mavericks’ most important players, earning him a new four-year contract worth roughly $75 million.
This week, ESPN and Sports Illustrated both released their top 100 NBA players lists. Hardaway Jr. was not on either of these lists last year, but he is on both this year.
Hardaway Jr. was ranked No. 79 by ESPN and No. 96 by Sports Illustrated. Nonetheless, given the current level of talent in the NBA, being named one of the top 100 players should be a privilege.
A Breakout Season
Hardaway Jr. had one of his best seasons, averaging 16. 6 and 3 points. With a 39.3% shooting percentage, he averages 3 rebounds per game. 1% from the arc’s edge. In what was undoubtedly his best season with the Mavericks, he frequently appeared to be the team’s second-best player behind Luka Doncic.
With Porzingis out at the start of the season, Hardaway Jr. stepped up and provided the team with the extra scoring punch they needed to stay competitive.
$00 With a score of 0 points per contest and a shooting percentage of 40%, 4% from the depths. He was second on the team in points in the postseason by a wide margin, and he had ten assists, which was good for third on the Mavericks. Through seven postseason games, Hardaway Jr. also made 57 3-pointers.
The Right Fit
A fantastic partner for Doncic, Hardaway Jr. appears to mesh well with the Dallas superstar. Hardaway Jr. is always getting to his spot and ready to knock down the open 3-pointer when defenses collapse on Doncic. This translates to more space on the floor for players like Doncic to attack the rim.
In the NBA, players must sometimes just find the right fit. While Hardaway Jr. had similar numbers with the Knicks as he does now with the Mavericks, his role now seems to fit him better. He’s a great third or fourth scoring option on a winning team, and he can keep the team going when players like Doncic and Porzingis are on the bench. Last season in Dallas,
Hardaway Jr. was effective as both a starter and a reserve. The guard averaged 18.7 points per game in the 31 games he started. In just over 31 minutes per game, he scored 6 points. On the other hand, in 39 games as a reserve last season, he averaged 15. Each contest lasts about 25 minutes and awards 1 point. His production per minute is fairly consistent, regardless of what role he plays on any given night. This gives the Dallas coaching staff more options when it comes to lineups they can use.
Given how productive Hardaway Jr. was for the Mavericks last season, it’s no surprise he’s ranked among the NBA’s top 100 players. He has a chance to only get better over the next few years on his new contract as he continues to find his groove in Dallas. Clean Bowled News