Mavericks: Evaluating changes Tim Hardaway Jr. has made to his game this year

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

Not over dribbling

Tim Hardaway Jr. signed a four-year $71 million deal with the Knicks in 2017. The hefty price tag had fans calling him overrated. He also shot more than a few ill-advised attempts in New York.

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That has not been the case in Dallas. Hardaway Jr. plays well within the system. There have been only a few shots where fans question why THJ fired away.

He has cut down on his dribbling into shots this season. Last year, Hardaway Jr. took 5.6 attempts per game without a dribble. He tried 5.1 a night with at least three. This season, THJ attempts 5.8 with zero dribbles and 3.6 with three-plus.

That is not to say there are not high-quality looks featuring multiple dribbles. Luka Doncic takes numerous ones every game. He brings the ball up the court and gets all the way to the rim for an easy score. Hardaway Jr. does not have his handle or ability to finish in the paint, though. Dribbling less has made him more efficient.

The percentage of his field goals that are assisted has also risen. That is part of less dribbling. Last season, THJ was assisted on 42.5 percent of his twos and 11.5 percent on his 3-pointers. Those numbers have increased to 50.3 and 23.7 percent. A massive improvement that speaks to the increase in shot quality.

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