Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. must fix glaring issue before it's too late

Orlando Magic v Dallas Mavericks
Orlando Magic v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is one of the longest-tenured players on the team, and he has been deep in the Sixth Man of the Year race all season due to his spectacular play off the bench, specifically his lights-out shooting from downtown.

This season for Dallas, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 16.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 0.5 steals per game while shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from downtown. Hardaway Jr. has been Dallas' third scorer for the season's entirety, but that may change soon.

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd hinted at P.J. Washington being the team's third scorer in a recent press conference, and Washington has been outplaying Hardaway Jr. on both ends of the floor.

Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. must fix glaring issue before it's too late

Hardaway Jr. and Washington are different positions and won't be taking minutes away from each other obviously, but Hardaway Jr. has to find a way to be consistently effective. He has been in a big slump lately and has hurt the Mavs more than he's helped.

This is easier said than done, especially for shooters, but Hardaway Jr.'s shooting clearly has a big effect on if the Mavs win or lose. This season, the Mavs are 14-6 in games where Hardaway Jr. knocks down at least four 3-pointers. Often, if Hardaway Jr. shoots well, the Mavs win.

But his biggest weakness that has been even worse as of late is his shot selection.

Hardaway Jr. has always taken questionable shots, and he hits these questionable shots often, but it kills the offense when he continues taking poor shots when he hasn't been making them.

This is a tough tightrope to walk for a player like Hardaway Jr. since his bread and butter is 3-point shooting, but he has to find a way to slightly change the way he plays for the overall better of the team.

Jaden Hardy is someone who changed their playstyle some this season, and it has worked wonders for him and his development as he has played some of the best basketball of his career lately. Hardy hasn't played much recently, but when he is on the floor, he makes a positive impact.

Hardy used to be someone who chucks bad shots often and sometimes kills the offense, but that has gone away over the last month or two. He is now a much better creator and lets the game come to him.

Hardaway Jr. should take a page from Hardy's book and not be so convinved on chucking bad shots, but again, that's easier said than done.

For all the latest on Tim Hardaway Jr., Jaden Hardy, and the Dallas Mavericks this season, stay tuned.