3 Studs, 2 duds in Mavericks' clutch win against the Magic

Nov 6, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving
Nov 6, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Dud - Jaden Hardy

Similar to Hardaway Jr., the Jaden Hardy experience is about as up-and-down as they come. Hardy only played 11 minutes of action in this affair and wasn't able to get much going.

Hardy went 1-of-5 from the floor and 0-of-3 from 3-point range. If the youngster's shot isn't falling, he's not much of an asset. Hardy only corralled one rebound and accumulated one assist on the night.

The Dallas guard finished with the second-lowest plus/minus at plus-two. When his shot is falling, Hardy is a valuable contributor. But on nights like last night, his contributions are severely limited.

However, despite a so-so performance, Hardy's demeanor won't change. As evidenced by his attitude after two DNPs to begin the season, his mindset is focused on growth.

Hardy is aware of his offensive abilities, thus he knows an improvement in defense will keep him on the floor. During this contest, Hardy looked locked in on defense. He recorded a nice on-ball steal on Magic guard Cole Anthony and never looked overmatched despite defending athletic guards.

Continuing to hone in on defense will keep Hardy on the floor. Even though shooting wanes, hustle and defense tend to remain consistent. Adding improved passing and off-ball movement will only raise Hardy's potential a step further.