Mavericks coach Jason Kidd is benching young guard Jaden Hardy at worst possible time

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks have come back down to earth after their seven-game win streak and now have lost five of their last six games.

Dallas' most recent loss came on Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers, and they must find a way to get back to winning games before it's too late. Dallas' defense remains to be a massive problem, and the root of the problem seems to be a lack of effort and energy.

After almost every game, players have talked about the lack of energy and communication. Jason Kidd's defense must have full effort and energy from everyone, and when energy and effort are lacking, the results are not great.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd is benching young guard at worst possible time

Although defense has been the main issue, the struggles of Tim Hardaway Jr. have also been clear. Hardaway Jr. was a key piece for Dallas over the first half of the year, but his role of being the third scorer has seemed to go to P.J. Washington. Washington's two-way ability has been on display consistently, and it may be time for the Mavs to start playing someone who can provide a similar impact that Hardaway Jr. does.

Other than Hardaway Jr., the Mavs only have one other player off the bench who can score extremely effectively, and Kidd has benched him outside of garbage time lately. This player is Jaden Hardy, and he was playing at a high level before being outside of the rotation once again.

This season for Dallas, Hardy is averaging 7.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 40.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from downtown. Hardy is the best isolation scorer on the team outside of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic and is also a deadly shooter off the catch.

Dallas is receiving no production from Hardaway Jr. in the little minutes that he does play, and it could be time for Kidd to consider playing Hardy again. Hardy brings energy on both ends of the floor, and although his defense has held him back over his first two seasons in the NBA, it has been much better as of late.

Hardy's electric shooting could give the Mavs the energy burst they need in small doses, and he has proven he needs to be in Dallas' rotation moving forward. This isn't to say that Hardy is the answer to all of Dallas' problems, but the team always seems to have great energy around them when he is knocking down his shots. Spark plugs aren't easy to come by in the NBA, and Hardy has proved over the last two years that he can provide some energy off the bench and be Dallas' spark plug.

For all the latest on Tim Hardaway Jr., Jason Kidd, Jaden Hardy, and the Dallas Mavericks for the rest of the season, stay tuned.