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Dallas Mavericks: Should Tim Hardaway Jr. start in the playoffs?

Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Dallas Mavericks Tim Hardaway Jr. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Case for Tim Hardaway Jr. starting for the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs

Hardaway Jr. performs better as a starter. He has been in the opening five for 24 games this season. THJ averages 18.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, and 3.3 3-pointers made per game on 43.5 percent from the field and 39.3 percent on his threes. In his 39 games coming off the bench, Hardaway Jr. produces 15.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.3 steals, and 2.7 3-pointers made a night on 44.4 percent from the field and 38.5 percent on his threes.

The contrast was incredibly stark last season. Hardaway Jr. averaged an additional 6.9 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.6 steals per game as a starter. He had a true shooting percentage of 60.2 as a starter and 46.3 when coming off the bench.

THJ also plays more minutes when he is the starting five. Part of that is likely Carlisle sticks with him longer when the 29-year-old is in rhythm and playing well. He has done that more as a starter.

The Dallas Mavericks need to maximize each player’s production in the playoffs and that likely means starting Tim Hardaway Jr. He finds his rhythm quicker and showcases his elite shooting. The Mavs will need that floor spacing if they are going to pull a first-round playoff upset.

Next: Case against starting THJ

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