Should Tim Hardaway Jr be a starter of come off the bench?
The Dallas Mavericks (10-5) defeated Cleveland Cavaliers (4-11) 143-101 Friday night in Dallas. Luka Doncic continues to solidify himself as a MVP candidate as he put in 30 points (11-18 shooting), 14 assists, and 7 rebounds. The most important stat of his night, only 2 turnovers. Luka currently places in the top 5 for points per game (3rd) and assists per game (2nd), while standing at 12th in rebounds per game. It is truly a pleasure to watch him each game no matter who the opponent is. He only played 28 minutes in the Mavs blow out win. Kristaps Porzingis had a hot 3rd quarter with 15 points, as he ended the night with 17 points (7-14 shooting), 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Kristaps currently is 4th in the NBA, at 2.29 blocks per game. His defensive ability to protect the rim and effectively change the offensive players shots not only makes a big impact defensively, but jump starts Mavs fast breaks.
Take this sequence for example. KP holds down the paint, THJ scoops up the loose ball and Maxi finishes with authority in transition.
The score was 29-26 at the end of the 1st quarter while the Mavs were playing without their shooting guard Seth Curry (illness). However, Dallas was a completely different team the remaining 3 quarters outscoring Memphis 114-75.
Dirk Nowitzki returned to the AAC for the first time during a Dallas Mavericks game since his retirement from the NBA! He watched as a fan, sitting next to Mark Cuban and Shawn Marion courtside. He politely declined to sit at the announcers desk and provide comments on the telecast, he wanted to enjoy the experience as a MFFL for the first time.
Should Tim Hardaway Jr start or come off the bench? A few days ago, you would laugh at me even asking this question. That is a different reaction now, as he filled in for Seth Curry the past two games. He finished the night with 16 points (6-8) shooting) and 4 assists in 18 minutes. As a starter (2 games), Tim is averaging 18 PPG (80 FG%) and 4 APG. If he continues to bring this improved decision making and shot selection to the court, this is a really dangerous Mavericks team. Dallas has a good supporting cast but needs a consistent third scorer on the roster. Seth Curry has been the starting shooting guard and out with an illness. Rick Carlisle has stated players shouldn’t lose their spot due to sickness, but he has to consider how his lineup will look against the Houston Rockets Sunday.
Justin Jackson had a huge day in racking up 19 points (7-11 shooting) and 6 rebounds. It was good to see J.J. Barea play the whole 4th quarter as he has been dealing with injuries and the unfortunate situation of being out of the rotation this season. He contributed 12 points (5-8 shooting).
The Mavericks have a challenge on their hands as they take on the #3 record in the Western Conference Sunday, Houston Rockets. 2017-18 MVP James Harden continues his incredible run as a perennial top 5 MVP candidate, who is now paired up with 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook. The Rockets are talented and it’s always an entertaining game between the two teams. Dallas Mavericks are now a playoff bound team as well with talented roster of their own, who sit 0.5 games behind Houston for the division lead and #3 spot in the Western Conference.
The Dallas Mavericks (10-5) travel down the highway to take on the Houston Rockets (11-5) Sunday at 2:30pm CT.