Mavericks can't catch a break as veteran guard suffers untimely injury

Jan 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) and Dallas Mavericks
Jan 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) and Dallas Mavericks / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks nearly completed an improbable comeback Sunday, as the Mavs fell to the LA Clippers 116-111. The team was down 31 points in the first half, and took the lead with two minutes to go in the game. They struggled though to contain the Clippers' offense, as their comeback fell short.

There are many reasons the Mavs fell to the Clippers though. One main idea could be their 3-point shooting. Dallas knocked down 33.3 percent of their shots from long range. This was a big difference from LA, who knocked down 62.1 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Many of the Mavs' players struggled to get anything going. Starters like P.J. Washington and Luka Doncic have failed to convert their attempts. Washington went 1-5 from downtown in Game 4, while Doncic shot 1-9.

Mavericks can't catch a break as Tim Hardaway Jr. reinjures ankle

One player who could have been of assistance is Tim Hardaway Jr. The Mavs' sixth man has missed the past two games, after suffering a right ankle sprain in Game 2.

Hardaway Jr. looked clear to potentially come back Wednesday, however, suffered a major setback when he aggravated his ankle in practice. He was a full participant in the scrimmage when he reinjured himself.

This comes as huge blow for the Mavs. The team could desperately use Hardaway Jr.'s shooting. The veteran guard was shooting 40.2 percent from the field this season, as he had converted 35.3 percent of his attempted 3-pointers.

He was also the team's third leading scorer this season, averaging 14.4 points per game. His presence is widely missed, as the team has failed to find a third leading scorer in the playoffs.

In both the Mavs' losses, the team struggled to find a player not named Kyrie Irving or Luka score above 15 points. Washington was the Mavs' third leading scorer with 11 points in Game 1. Derrick Jones. Jr. was the team's third leading scorer in Game 4. He poured in 14 points, and went 2-3 from long range.

Either way, the problem is clear, the Mavs need a veteran scorer like Hardaway Jr.

Players like Dante Exum and Josh Green have struggled to get things going. Exum has been non-existent, as he averages .8 points per game and is shooting zero percent from long range.

Green, Hardaway Jr.'s replacement, is shooting 30 percent from the court. He does a great job attacking the rim but struggles to knock down his long-range jumpers.

Mavs fans can only hope Hardaway Jr.'s injury isn't a major setback. The team needs shooting, and the team's sixth man is just the guy to get the ball rolling. Hardaway Jr. may have been struggling going into the playoffs, but this team needs a spark from downtown badly.

The team will look to bounce back Wednesday without Hardaway Jr.

Stay tuned for all the latest on the Dallas Mavericks and their playoff journey.