Rookie Dallas Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy showed out in the team’s March 27 win over the Indiana Pacers. Hardy poured in 20 points in 24 minutes off of the Mavericks bench, knocking down 8-of-12 attempts from the field.
The 20-year-old credited his superstar teammates, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, for giving him the confidence which has fueled his continued strong play.
“Playing with [Luka and Kyrie], they both give me confidence,” Hardy told reporters after Dallas’ 127-104 win in Indiana via the team’s YouTube channel. “Just always in my ear trying to help me. [I’m] asking them when I’m out there on the floor what they see, and them just telling me – it helps me when I’m out there.”
Hardy has been on a tear as of late. He’s averaged 16.4 points 3.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 46% from the field and 50% from deep, over his last 10 appearances.
He then detailed advice he’d gotten from Irving, during Monday’s win.
“Tonight I was talking with Kyrie [when] we were in transition. He was telling me, just like ‘be aware of the clock.’ And on the last play, he’s asking me did I see the clock and stuff like that. … He was just making sure I was aware of the timing.”
Of course, Hardy had to discuss Doncic’s wild dime that netted him a wide-open three during the third quarter.
“Yeah, that pass was crazy,” Hardy said of the Slovenian’s pass that had Twitter buzzing. “I didn’t think he saw me at first, and then when he saw me, I didn’t think he was gonna be able to get it to me, but he did. So I was like, ‘I’ve gotta knock this down for him.'”
Jason Kidd Dishes Praise on Luka Doncic’s Dime in Mavs Win
Doncic’s cross-court pass to Hardy was the highlight of the night. So much so that head coach Jason Kidd was asked about it during his postgame availability.
“Pretty cool. Which one, though? He had a couple of them that were pretty cool,” Kidd said. “He was kind of trapped. I think that’s what he does. He’s one of the best passers in the league. He can find guys. He’s strong enough. I don’t know if anybody else can make that pass. And then, to be able to catch and shoot, Hardy did that not just once, but a couple of times tonight from Luka’s double-teams and are off some of the passes. Again, he can make passes most guys can’t.”
Kidd knows a thing or two about setting up teammates. Throughout his Hall-of-Fame playing career, he tallied the second-highest assist total in league history with 12,091, trailing only John Stockton.
LeBron James Impressed by Mavs’ Luka Doncic’s Wild Pass
Two spots behind Kidd on the assist-leaderboard, sits Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James with 10,374 career-dimes and counting.
James, like Dallas’ head coach, was impressed with the 23-year-old’s incredible find.
He took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the highlight, quote tweeting a clip shared by the NBA.
“Man that’s SIMPLY INSANE!!!!,” the King tweeted, followed by nine crying laughing emojis.