Gauging the panic meter on 5 struggling Mavericks before NBA Playoffs

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks took down the Miami Heat on the road. This was their 16th win in the last 18 games, and everything seems to be going right for them ahead of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Luka Doncic continues to break records, Kyrie Irving has been an excellent leader, and all of the role players are filling in beautifully. The play of role players is huge in the playoffs, and it looks like most of the Mavs role players are ready to step up to the plate.

With Dallas' win on Wednesday night, it was confirmed that they will play the LA Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.

Gauging the panic meter on 5 struggling Mavericks before NBA Playoffs

This will be the third time in five years that Dallas is playing LA in the first round, and the Mavs may be catching them at the perfect time due to their injuries. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden have all been battling injuries lately, and the Mavs are finally starting to get healthy (outside of Dereck Lively II).

All signs are pointing to the Mavs making a deep playoff run, but there are some struggling players who need to play a bit better before the playoffs.

Here we gauge the panic meter on five struggling Dallas Mavericks players ahead of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

5. Jaden Hardy

Jaden Hardy is someone whose minutes have gone up and down all season long, and his play has taken a dip over the last month.

Hardy is averaging 7.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game this season while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from downtown. Even though Hardy has had some excellent stretches this season, he is struggling when the team needs him most.

This time last year, Hardy was emerging as one of the best shooters on the team, but this season he is falling to the end of the bench. Hardy hasn't scored in double digits since March 11, and it doesn't look like he will be in Jason Kidd's playoff rotation.

Hardy is someone who Kidd has said he wants to play more, but Kidd has also alluded to him not being in the rotation at all for the remainder of the year. You never know which Hardy you're going to get lately, and he hasn't been as efficient as usual lately.

It's hard to grade someone whose minutes are so sporadic, but Hardy doesn't look ready to contribute in the playoffs just yet. Hardy could quickly prove that he deserves some minutes in the playoffs depending on how he plays in the next two games, but his play lately has not been the best.

Panic Meter - 6