Much has been said about the struggles of the Dallas Mavericks role players around Luka Doncic, especially Tim Hardaway Jr.'s, who missed a chunk of last season due to a foot injury. Hardaway began the season misfiring from beyond the arc, making him a potential trade candidate given his underproduction relative to his remuneration.
However, the 30-year old sharpshooter has come alive over the past week or so, rewarding head coach Jason Kidd's faith in him in the process. After Tim Hardaway Jr. drained six of his eight triples in a 116-115 win over the Denver Nuggets, he became only the 10th player in NBA history to drain five or more triples in five consecutive games, joining Stephen Curry, Paul George, Jayson Tatum, James Harden, and Damian Lillard, among others, as marksmen who accomplished the feat.
Tim Hardaway Jr. has become only the 10th player in @NBA history to connect on 5+ 3FG in 5 consecutive games.
Stephen Curry (7x)
Paul George (2x)
*Tim Hardaway Jr.
James Harden (4x)
George McCloud (DAL)
Gary Trent Jr. pic.twitter.com/AebUw8q94f
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) December 7, 2022
A move back to the starting lineup just might have been what Tim Hardaway Jr. needed to recover some semblance of his past form. While his debut in the starting five this season didn't work out as planned after the Milwaukee Bucks blew them out convincingly, Hardaway Jr. has been breathing fire ever since.
During the past five games, Hardaway is shooting like a man on automatic; he has made 30 of his past 55 attempts from beyond the arc en route to averaging 24.4 points to provide Luka Doncic some offensive respite. During the Mavs' latest win over the Nuggets, Hardaway tallied a season-high 29 points to lead both teams in scoring. This recent stretch is what makes Hardaway a piece worth his $19.6 million contract for the season.
While it's difficult to envision this kind of torrid shooting being in any way sustainable, it's a good sign that Tim Hardaway Jr. is stepping up when the Mavs really need his production. The Mavs have gone 4-1 over the past five games, slowly making their way up the Western Conference standings. Hopefully Reggie Bullock could be the next to snap out of his wretched shooting slump.