Jaden Hardy shines in Dallas Mavericks loss to Grizzlies: More minutes to come?

Dallas Mavericks, Jaden Hardy
Dallas Mavericks, Jaden Hardy / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Dallas Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy has seen his minutes and role fluctuate as much as anyone on this team.

He went from averaging 24 points per game in the three games that he started within the last two weeks to playing just six minutes in Saturday's game against the Lakers.

The Mavericks ended up winning in Los Angeles, but Hardy never got much of a chance to help his team.

Jaden Hardy shines in Dallas Mavericks loss to Grizzlies: More minutes to come?

Hardy came into Monday night's 112-108 loss to the Grizzlies ready to play. He played 19 minutes and finished with 20 points, four assists, and only one turnover on 7-13 shooting from the field.

This was the most points and second-most minutes from Hardy in a game that he and Irving both played. Head coach Jason Kidd finally gave him a chance to lead the offense even when one of the Mavericks' stars was playing and Hardy thrived.

Hardy led the offense by attacking the basket, knocking down threes, and creating shots for himself and his teammates. He was one of the only bright spots in the Mavericks' offense besides Irving and Christian Wood.

Hardy was also the only Maverick to knock down a 3-pointer in the second half, and the only Maverick to make a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. When his teammates struggled, he stepped up.

But Hardy only got to play six minutes in the fourth quarter due to tweaking his ankle while he was getting back on defense. Once Hardy checked out with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks went 0-10 from the field and scored just five points.

The Mavericks' offense was dead without him, but he left his mark during his time on the floor in the narrow loss.

Some good news for Mavericks fans is that Luka Doncic may return to action on Wednesday. He was listed as questionable ahead of the Grizzlies' game for the first time since suffering his injury against the Pelicans on March 8, but this isn't necessarily good news for Hardy in terms of minutes and usage.

In the four games that Hardy has played in with both Doncic and Irving healthy, he is averaging 13.5 minutes and 4.8 points on three field goal attempts per game. His role significantly decreases when Doncic and Irving are both playing, but things could be different on Wednesday if Doncic returns.

Coach Kidd could either give Hardy a chance and allow him to be a scorer and secondary ballhandler off the bench to ignite the Mavericks' offense when they need it or Hardy could see his playing time nosedive and his impact could be minimized once again.

Stay tuned to see how Jaden Hardy and the Dallas Mavericks respond to the loss against the Grizzlies as they battle the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center. This game is as crucial as they come for Dallas as they trail Golden State by just half a game in the Western Conference standings, so you won't want to miss it.

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