Mavericks veteran disappears when team needed him most in Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Dallas Mavericks, Tim Hardaway Jr. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Hardaway Jr. seemed to have found his confidence after scoring 15 points on 5-of-7 off the bench from three in the Dallas Mavericks blowout win in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. His five 3-pointers set a new single game Mavericks record for threes made in a Finals game.

Heading into Game 5 last night, head coach Jason Kidd said the team was "going to need" Hardaway Jr. to come up with another excellent performance off the bench.

Unfortunately for the Mavs, Hardaway Jr. turned out to be unplayable once again against the Celtics despite him not getting tons of playing time.

Tim Hardaway Jr. disappears when team needed him most in Finals

In the Mavericks' 106-88 defeat in Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals, Hardaway Jr. played nine minutes in the second half when the Mavs were trailing by double digits. The team hoped that Hardaway Jr. would still have the hot hand from Game 4. It didn't work out.

Hardaway Jr. was scoreless and only attempted one 3-pointer and missed; Hardaway Jr. also recorded three fouls in the game. When the team needed Hardaway Jr. the most, he couldn't prevail for them. The Mavs have seen this happen two other times with Hardaway Jr. before Game 5.

In Game 3, Hardaway Jr. played 19 minutes and went scoreless on 0-of-5 from the field including 0-of-3 from three. Hardaway Jr. was heavily criticized when after he was subbed in for Luka Doncic after Doncic fouled out and he didn't contribute.

In Game 1, Hardaway Jr. went scoreless in eight minutes and didn't attempt a shot. In the three Finals losses when Hardaway Jr. played, he went 0-of-9 combined from the field in 36 minutes. A disappointing way for Hardaway Jr. to contribute in Dallas' quest to win its second NBA Finals.

With the 2024 Finals concluded, thus ends one of the most disappointing performances in the Playoffs with Hardaway Jr. struggling. After being injured in the Mavs' run to the 2022 Western Conference Finals, Hardaway Jr. had the perfect chance to be the X-factor for the Mavs in the 2024 Playoffs, but couldn't live up to the expectations.

Hardaway Jr. averaged 4.4 points per game in under 13 minutes per game in 14 games played in the 2024 Playoffs. In six games in the 2024 Playoffs, Hardaway Jr. went scoreless in six games. There could possible be speculation with the Mavs looking to trade Hardaway Jr. this summer.

For all the latest on Tim Hardaway Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned.