The Dallas Mavericks lost a key piece of their rotation when Tim Hardaway Jr. broke his foot on Jan. 25. They had won 11 of their last 13 games heading into that contest against the Warriors in what turned out to be the start of the Mavericks' incredible run in 2022. THJ had surgery on his fractured fifth metatarsal, and the team offered no timetable on his return.
Fans have been holding out hope that he would be able to return in time for the playoffs. The Mavericks have ten regular-season contests left on their schedule with the playoffs set to begin in just over three weeks. Hardaway Jr. has ditched his boot and been on the bench during games, but there have been no updates on his status since the team announced he had surgery on Feb. 1.
THJ was spotted shooting at practice on March 22, but head coach Jason Kidd was far from optimistic about his return this season following the team’s workout. Get the latest here, and what it means for the Mavericks in the postseason.
Tim Hardaway Jr. shoots at practice but coach Jason Kidd is not optimistic about return
Brad Townsend gave fans a glimpse of Hardaway Jr. shooting at practice on Tuesday afternoon. It was good to see him on the floor getting up shots and dribbling a bit, but when asked after the workout, head coach Jason Kidd made it seem like the 6’5 wing would not return this season.
The Mavs are 17-7 since Hardaway Jr. broke his foot, and his injury opened the door for Josh Green to get consistent minutes on the wing. The 21-year-old has shown flashes in his second season as he keeps improving his game. Green's defense and playmaking appear to be his calling cards in the NBA, and it will be interesting to see if he sticks in Kidd's playoff rotation.
Coach Kidd is likely to shorten the rotation in the postseason, especially with Tim Hardaway Jr. sidelined. Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson, and Spencer Dinwiddie will handle the majority of the time in the backcourt with Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith rounding out the wing minutes. Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber will see time at the five with Kidd handing out spot minutes to role players from there. Expect the rotation to be tight with multiple players having short leashes.
Hopefully, Tim Hardaway Jr. makes a full recovery and is ready for training camp. The Dallas Mavericks love his ability to knock down shots, and he will be a key contributor when he returns to the floor. Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for updates on THJ’s injury as they become available, and all the latest on the Mavs.