Dallas Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. needs to get back on track vs. Boston

Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks are without Luka Doncic but have the team firing on all cylinders. They will still need Tim Hardaway Jr. to play the way he is capable of tonight against the Boston Celtics.

Just because the Dallas Mavericks took down the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night doesn’t mean they get to take it easy now. It doesn’t mean that teams are just going to be too scared to come and play against them. In fact, I would expect quite the opposite going forward. The Boston Celtics will not come into this game underestimating the Mavs, even without Luka Doncic.

With the expectation that Kemba Walker is ready to play his best ball tonight, the Mavs are going to need to counter him and the other playmakers in Boston with some points on the board. Seth Curry has been lights out lately and Kristaps Porzingis seems to recognize the need for him on the offensive end, but Tim Hardaway Jr. has fluctuated as of late.

It has already been apparent that Hardaway plays better next to Luka, but the team obviously needs him more now that Luka is gone. He has had a few hill and valley-type performances, but nothing to warrant switching him back to a bench role or anything like that. We just need a little more consistency.

The not-so-big secret of THJ’s game is that he is one of the most streaky shooters in the league. It can sometimes take him several shots before he gets one to go through the net, but once it does catch some nylon, he usually stays hot for most of the game. The Mavs need to take steps early in the game to get Hardaway shots that he can knock down.

The Mavericks win over the Bucks was big and I don’t think it was a fluke, but Hardaway needs to be involved in the offense if this Luka-less stretch of games is going to go as well as it started. Although there are better shooters on the team, I’m not sure there is a better scorer than THJ on the roster, other than Luka.

When Hardaway is hitting on offense, he is more engaged on defense as well, something that will definitely be needed tonight against a team full of good players. The better Hardaway plays, the better the chances for the Mavs to pull off a seeming upset.

Next. Seth Curry is absolutely on fire right now

The Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics tip-off late tonight at 8:30pm central time. The game will be available to watch on ESPN. Both teams will be without some important players as Dallas is obviously missing Luka and the Celtics will be without Marcus Smart and potentially Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum.