3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' narrow Game 4 loss to Timberwolves

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, P.J. Washington
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, P.J. Washington / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Stud - Jaden Hardy

Jaden Hardy is someone who has had the definition of an up-and-down season for the Dallas Mavericks. He was coming off an excellent rookie season in which he shot over 40 percent from downtown, but his sophomore season didn't go as smoothly.

Although Hardy had some great stretches, he was in and out of the rotation for most of the season and there were times early in the year when he looked unplayable. This was not ideal for the second-year guard, and Jason Kidd even made it seem like he may not be a part of the rotation for the final push.

Hardy started outside of the rotation to begin the playoffs, but his play off the bench in the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves has been outstanding. In Game 4, Hardy finished with 13 points while shooting 5-8 from the field and 3-4 from downtown, and he was a huge spark plug in the second half when the Mavs needed some momentum.

He dominated in the third quarter as he was drilling open shots and attacking the rim. There was even a play when he drove straight at Anthony Edwards and finished with a layup and on a different play he finished at the rim with a dunk.

Hardy's reemergence in these playoffs has been remarkable, and all he needed was a chance.

For all the latest on Jaden Hardy and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the rest of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned.