3 Studs, 2 duds in Mavericks' blowout loss to Nuggets

Dec 18, 2023; Denver, Colorado
Dec 18, 2023; Denver, Colorado / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Dud - Tim Hardaway Jr.

Remember it being said Derrick Jones Jr. was needed to fill a crucial role? Tim Hardaway Jr. was needed even more than the aforementioned Jones Jr. As the third leading scorer on the Mavericks, Hardaway Jr.'s scoring output is a necessity for Dallas' success.

In an increased role, the Dallas swingman put up an absolute dud. He finished with just eight points, his lowest output since November 22. To get those eight points, Hardaway Jr. hoisted 12 shots.

Of those 12 attempts, the Dallas guard only made three of them. Hardaway Jr. couldn't find the bottom of the net from anywhere on the floor. He made just 2-of-9 3-point attempts.

When Hardaway Jr. isn't knocking down shots, his value plummets. The Dallas guard only recorded two rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes of action. He turned the ball over twice and took some poor shots which led to easy baskets on the other end.

He finished with the second-lowest defensive rating on the Mavericks. Hardaway Jr. did draw a charge, like he's done on most nights, but failed to adequately defend his matchup.

While the responsibility doesn't completely fall on Hardaway Jr., the mediocre Denver bench destroyed the Mavericks. The Denver bench players combined for 62 points, almost half of the Nuggets' point total.