The Dallas Mavericks were short-handed as they took on the New Orleans Pelicans on March 27. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were both ruled out before tipoff. The Mavs did not have Willie Cauley-Stein, Tyrell Terry, and J.J. Redick either. Tim Hardaway Jr. had to step up and be the number one scoring option.
The veteran wing did not disappoint on Saturday night. THJ came off the bench but did not take long to heat up. He kept his 3-point shot dialed to finish with 30 points, five rebounds, and three assists in 34 minutes against the Pelicans. Hardaway Jr. was 11 of 19 from the field including hitting five of his ten 3-point tries. New Orleans walked away with a 112-103 victory on March 27, but THJ shined in The Big Easy.
Here is a closer look at Hardaway’s performance against the Pelicans, and why the Mavericks need him to offer that scoring off the bench for the team to make a deep playoff run.
Tim Hardaway Jr. takes game to another level as Dallas Mavericks fall to Pelicans
THJ entered the game with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter, and it did not take long for him to make his presence felt. The 29-year-old got fancy as he made a lay-in to keep the Mavs within striking distance.
Hardaway Jr. had it locked in on Saturday night. He was creating turnovers and turning them into easy points against the Pelicans.
THJ had 21 points in the first-half which set a new season-high. The veteran led the team in field goal attempts and took over as the number one scorer as Dallas was without their two stars. Hardaway Jr. kept them in the game and gave Dallas a chance to win.
The Mavericks need Tim Hardaway Jr. to knock down his threes and be aggressive in attacking the basket if they are going to make a deep playoff run. Defenses tighten up in the postseason, so Dallas needs shot creators and players attacking the basket to take some of the pressure off Luka Doncic.
The Mavs have won seven of the 12 games where Hardaway Jr. has scored 20 or more points this season including their loss to the Pelicans. Their elite offense reaches another level when the 29-year-old is scoring 20-plus. Luka and KP are going to get buckets, but Dallas needs that third option to compete against the best teams in the league.
It was an impressive performance from Tim Hardaway Jr. against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. He has produced three straight outstanding games. Hardaway Jr. will look to keep the streak going as the Mavs face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on March 29. Do not miss it.