The Dallas Mavericks are in a tough spot. They’ve had a very up-and-down season thus far, but when they traded for Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline, they committed to competing for an NBA Championship. Unfortunately, injuries have gotten in the way as of late.
Both Irving and Luka Doncic have missed some time, but on the upside, it’s given Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy more opportunities. On Wednesday night, after the Mavericks’ loss to the Golden State Warriors, Doncic spoke highly of Hardy’s game.
“He’s going to be a great, great player,” Doncic said of Hardy via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “He’s already good. Very good. But I think, talking to him, understanding the game, I think sometimes he goes really quick. I just tell him to slow down. But he’s really good. And he listens. He listens to me a lot. So, I think he’s gonna be really, really good.”
Despite the loss, Hardy played very well against the Warriors. The youngster finished the game with 27 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Doncic, he was dominant in his return from action against the Warriors. The Mavericks superstar ended the night with 30 points, seven rebounds, and 17 assists on 11-of-27 shooting from the field and 2-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Stephen Curry Sounds Off on Luka Doncic
Doncic always has a firm grasp on the game every night, and because of that, he’s one of the hardest players to guard in the NBA. After the game, Warriors superstar Stephen Curry spoke about how difficult it is to keep up with Doncic.
“I mean, for the most part, we put him on the free throw line too much in the first half. But Luka is interesting,” Curry said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He’s going to get his numbers because he’s good, first and foremost, but they have a team formed around him that gives him a lot of space, and he’s great at picking and choosing his spots. Whether he’s looking for a shot or putting pressure on you in the paint to kick out to shooters. They made 17 threes off of a lot of his gravity, so you got to live with some of that stuff, and you got to live with him having big numbers because, again, he’s that great, and he has a lot of opportunity.”
Jason Kidd on Final Moments of Warriors Game
“You look at the split of being able to try to corral Curry. It’s not easy, and he made a heck of a play by driving it,” Kidd said via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “The read that Luka and Reggie [Bullock] had was the right read. They top-locked. We’ll take the quick two, and now we’ll play the free throw game. Understanding that we got a good look, it just didn’t go down for us.”