Father of Mavericks guard creates big distraction with wild Luka Doncic take

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

On Thursday night, the Dallas Mavericks took down the Oklahoma City Thunder 119-110 to tie their series at one game apiece. This win was much needed considering how flat the Mavs looked in Game 1, and Luka Doncic put his struggles from earlier in the series behind him.

Doncic finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists while shooting 11-21 from the field and 5-8 from downtown. Even though his knee injury still seems to be bothering him, he put on a show in Game 2 and was moving better than he was in Game 1.

The Mavs also had several role players step up in this game as P.J. Washington finished with 29 points and Josh Green finished with 11 points. Both players were hitting timely shots, and one other Mavericks role player stepped up in a big way when they needed him most.

Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 17 points while shooting 6-10 from the field and 2-4 from downtown. Hardaway Jr. had been struggling for the entire playoffs, and the Mavs needed a good shooting game out of him badly.

Tim Hardaway Sr. creates distraction with wild Luka Doncic take

While all eyes were on Hardaway Jr. for his great shooting game in Game 2, some of the eyes have shifted over to his father Tim Hardaway Sr. this morning as he spoke out against Doncic on FS1's "The Carton Show."

Hardaway Sr. said, "when Luka's not playing, the ball moves better." This was in response to the crew talking about The Ringer's Howard Beck's article from earlier in the week that claimed a veteran assistant coach said that Doncic's teammates take "a sigh of relief" when he checks out of the game.

This is not the first time that Hardaway Sr. has talked poorly about the Mavs and Doncic, and all this does is create a distraction for Hardaway Jr. The Mavs are focused on trying to advance through the playoffs and make their first NBA Finals appearance since 2011, and now they have to worry about the father of one of their players talking down on Doncic's playstyle that has gotten them this far.

Hardaway Jr. was coming off a great performance in Game 2 and even closed the game, and his father decided to talk negatively about Doncic the next morning. Both Doncic and Hardaway Jr. were key pieces in the win, and talking down on the superstar on your son's team is an interesting approach, to say the least.

The last thing that Hardaway Jr. needs after a good performance is a distraction from the outside, and that's exactly what happened after Game 2.

All of Doncic's teammates have spoken highly of him through it all, and Markieff Morris stood up for him on X earlier this week by saying that the article about the veteran coach talking about Doncic and his teammates was "cap" or a lie.

The only people who should have any say about what it's like playing with Doncic are the people who suit up next to him every night, and those guys are always in awe of the type of player he is. Doncic emphasized getting Washington involved in Game 2, and he took advantage of the open looks he got.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned.