Patience on Tim Hardaway Jr. finding his jumper for the Dallas Mavericks
Hardaway Jr. made just three of his ten field goals, and he went one of five from long range in the season-opening loss in Phoenix. He was the only bench player with a negative plus-minus for Dallas, despite the 6’5 wing having to play a few additional minutes as Spencer Dinwiddie dealt with foul trouble in the second half. Dinwiddie picking up his fourth foul and exiting less than one minute into the third quarter subtly changed the game and gave the Suns some momentum.
It was a rough night for THJ, but that was to be expected. It was the 30-year-old wing’s first game since Jan. 25. Hardaway Jr. suffered a season-ending foot injury that required surgery that night, and he missed the team’s entire run to the conference finals. There were likely some nerves being back on the floor, and fans should have expected a slow start.
Going three of ten is something that happens to jump shooters. Hardaway Jr. was getting open looks, but he just did not have his shot locked in on Wednesday night. He could easily be seven of ten in the home opener and all will be forgotten. Fans need to be patient any time Tim Hardaway Jr. struggles with his shot because he will be better next time out.
Overall, fans should not be panicked. Yes, the Dallas Mavericks lost a disappointing game to open the regular season, but it is just one of 82. They have one of the best players in the world in Luka Doncic, and the team is primed to be in contention. Will they bounce back on Saturday night against the Grizzlies? Be sure to tune in to find out.