NBA Playoff X-Factors – West

Which players are willing to guard baseline to baseline? Which play to the final buzzer. These are the Western Conference X-Factors.


Dallas Mavericks

43-32, 7th in West
Season: 40-27
Bubble: 3-5

Playoff Match-Up: (2) LA Clippers

Sean: Tim Hardaway Jr.

  • It’s crazy to think that Tim Hardaway Jr has been in the league for 9 years.  He’s shown himself to be a quality NBA player with stops in New York, Atlanta and now Dallas. He’s got some playoff experience to lean on from his days with Atlanta and that will prove invaluable to a young Mavericks team. 
  • Hardaway is the perfect backcourt mate for Dončić. He’s an athletic two guard with enough defensive chops to take the tougher defensive assignment and let Luka focus on the offense. Hardaway has shown the ability to get hot and we could see some big games out him in the playoffs. The Mavericks have the number 1 offense in the NBA and that’s due in large part to who Dallas has surrounded Dončić with. With Luka finding Hardaway consistently, the 9th year guard’s play will determine a number of playoff games if they are going to force an upset over the Clippers.

James: Tim Hardaway Jr.

  • Dallas is the best thing that’s happened to Hardaway. He thrives in this system because he doesn’t need to carry the load and when his number is called he shows up.
  • Now, what’s interesting is THJ is shooting the best in his career at 40% from three on 43% overall, but ger him in the midrange that number rises to 55%. Why am I mentioning this? He is getting better looks at the basket than he was in New York and Atlanta. When Hardaway doesn’t have to create for himself he’s lethal and is the ultimate X factor. That pump fake, one dribble to the elbow is a thing of beauty.

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One response to “NBA Playoff X-Factors – West”

  1. Samwise Avatar

    Kuuuuuuuuz!!! Y’all agreed a lot more on the West vs East. Interesting

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