Dallas Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. will decide Game 2 vs. Clippers
By Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. is the key to Game 2 vs. Clippers
The Dallas Mavericks dropped game one of their first-round playoff series against the LA Clippers. Luka Doncic had a record-breaking 42 points in his playoff debut, but it was not enough. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George led LA to 118-110 victory.
Kristaps Porzingis’ ejection in the third quarter changed the game. The Mavs were up by five and had momentum beforehand. The Unicorn is the key to Dallas winning the series. Fans can read the five reasons why here.
Expect Doncic and Porzingis to both come up massive in game two. The 21-year-old superstar was upset he committed 11 turnovers on Monday. He will have that under control as he produces an unbelievable stat line. KP makes up for his ejection with big-time production. With both stars playing well, Tim Hardaway Jr. becomes the key for Dallas.
Tim Hardaway Jr. will decide Game 2 between the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers
THJ had 18 points, six rebounds, and one steal in the series opener. He shot seven of 16 from the field and four of 11 on his 3-point tries. The Mavs were outscored by 22 points in his 36 minutes on the floor too.
They need him to be the third scorer behind Luka and KP, but it must be done efficiently. In game one, THJ was seven of 11 on open shots (the defender at least four feet away) per NBA Stats. He missed all five field goals including three 3-pointers when facing tight coverage. Hardaway Jr. needs to hit his open looks and continue moving the ball when he is covered.
The Mavericks scored 110 points against one of the best defenses in the NBA in game one. Luka limiting his turnovers plus THJ improving his shot selection should lead to more on Wednesday evening.
Hardaway Jr. is also primarily responsible for guarding Paul George. The two matched up for 5:07 in game one, according to NBA Stats. George scored just four points on two of five shooting from the field during that stretch. That continues a trend. George was just four of 13 when guarded by the 28-year-old Maverick during the regular season.
The Dallas Mavericks need 15-plus points with efficiency from Tim Hardaway Jr. to upset the Clippers. Defending well against PG13 will help too. THJ is the key to a Mavs victory in game two. Stay tuned to see how it all shakes out.