5 Biggest X-factors for Dallas Mavericks ahead of 2024 NBA Playoffs

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
3 of 5

3. Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. has been in an awful slump since the trade deadline, and nothing seems to be going right for him. This season for Dallas, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 0.5 steals per game while shooting 40.4 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from downtown.

Hardaway Jr.'s struggles (subscription required) have been magnified this month as he is averaging just 8.7 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting and 26.3 percent shooting from downtown, and the Mavs will need him to turn things around quickly.

Hardaway Jr.'s shooting is something that ignites the offense when he's hot, but he brings the team down when he can't hit his shots. The Mavs have seen how much he helps their offense when he is an efficient shooter as he can be a huge spark plug off the bench and scores in bunches.

Fans shouldn't expect Hardaway Jr. to magically go back to being an efficient 3-point shooter again, but it would raise the ceiling of this team if he can. Dallas has still been winning despite Hardaway Jr.'s struggles, and him being able to cash in his open looks would make this team more deadly than they already are.

Hardaway Jr.'s shooting won't make or break this team's postseason chances, but the rest of the league could be in trouble if he's dialed in from distance.