5 X factors for the Dallas Mavericks in 2022-23 season
Dallas Mavericks X factor for 2022-23 season: 4. Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Mavs made their postseason run last year without THJ after he suffered a season-ending foot injury in January. It is easy to forget that Hardaway Jr. was the team’s second-leading scorer and arguably their second-best player in their 2021 postseason series against the LA Clippers where the Mavericks lost in seven games.
Hardaway Jr. is a proven scorer and shooter, but he struggled at the start of last season. He averaged 14.2 points on 39.4 percent shooting from the field and 33.6 percent on his threes.
Was he adjusting to the new ball, struggling to find his rhythm in new head coach Jason Kidd’s system or just the victim of bad luck? Fans can probably assess some blame toward each of those factors, but the team needs him to be better, especially after Brunson's departure.
THJ will come off the bench to start the season, but they will need him to score 15-plus points per game and knock down his threes at a high clip if the Mavericks are going to finish in the top four in the Western Conference and go on a deep playoff run. Tim Hardaway Jr. is more than capable, but will he do it?