Tim Hardaway Jr. injury will force Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd to alter rotations
At the start of December, the Mavs shifted Hardaway Jr. to the bench to be their sixth man, and the Mavericks have the third-best defensive rating in the league since making that move. They were at the top before their blowout loss to the Warriors. The team is committed to defense, and there were using THJ as a spark plug off the bench.
The Mavericks do not have a shooter that can create offense on their roster to replace Hardaway Jr. unless they put Trey Burke into the rotation, which seems unlikely given his defensive struggles. Dallas needs ball-handlers and creators on the floor at all times, so the injury means relying more on superstar Luka Doncic.
Head coach Jason Kidd will also have to further stagger the minutes of number 77 and Brunson. Since shifting into the starting five, JB is averaging 33.2 minutes per game, and that number could increase as the Mavs search for shot creation.
They have been expanding Dorian Finney-Smith’s role as a ball-handler, but the Mavericks are going to struggle to have two shot creators on the floor at all times. Could that force Dallas to make a move?