Is Tim Hardaway Jr. A Viable Third Option for Mavericks?

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Getty Tim Hardaway Jr. celebrates in a recent playoff game against the LA Clippers.

In the modern NBA, the best teams have a roster headlined by a star-studded duo or trio. For the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic is the superstar at the helm, with a core supporting cast of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis. 

Porzingis is the clear second option behind Doncic, with Hardaway Jr. being the team’s third-best player. With that in mind, is Hardaway Jr. a good enough third option for a team that has championship aspirations?

For most of last season, he certainly looked the part. It was his best season as a member of the Mavericks, providing them efficient scoring as a starter or off the bench.


Shooting & Size

One of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA, Hardaway Jr. knocked down 207 from beyond the arc last season, which was eighth-most of any player. In a league that continues to shift towards more 3-point shots being taken, having a player like Hardaway is crucial. 

A 39.1% shooter from deep, Hardaway Jr. knocked down big shots when it mattered most, especially in the playoffs. In Dallas’ lone playoff series against the LA Clippers, he shot 40.4% from deep on 8.1 attempts per game.

Scoring from the perimeter is where Hardaway Jr. seems most comfortable. In fact, 53.4% of his points last season came from beyond the arc. 

With Doncic being a heavy isolation player, Hardaway Jr. is the perfect compliment to his style of play. Only 30.5% of Hardaway Jr.’s made shots last season were unassisted, which was one of the lowest rates on the team. This means he scored a lot of his points in catch-and-shoot opportunities, and didn’t play much in isolation.

At 6-foot-6, Hardaway Jr. also has the size to play multiple positions on both ends of the floor. He’s a serviceable defender that has the versatility to switch onto a few different positions. He’s also very durable, leading the team in games played with 70 last season. In games that Hardaway Jr. played in, the Mavericks went 42-28.


Efficiency 

Not only is Hardaway Jr. a great scorer, but he does it efficiently. Among players that attempted 13 or fewer shots per game last season, he scored the seventh-most points per contest. An extremely efficient scorer, he doesn’t have to take a ton of shots to put points on the board. 

This is a great trait for a guy who’s the third option on a team, leaving more shots for guys like Doncic and Porzingis. They should be taking on a heavier offensive load, with Hardaway Jr. deferring to them in certain situations. In general, the more quality shots for Doncic, the better.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

GettyDallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. flexes after hitting a big shot against the Miami Heat.

There were plenty of players that scored more points per game than Hardaway Jr. last season, but it was almost always because they took more shots. When he did attempt more field goals, his scoring production rose tremendously. In fact, last season against the Detroit Pistons, he nearly doubled his shot attempts with 23, but scored 42 points. Additionally, he had four 30-point games last season, showing how dynamic of a scorer that he is.


Comment Here
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x