The Dallas Mavericks are quietly putting together a pretty promising season -- 27-21 and the No. 5 seed in the West -- but their prospects may have taken a big blow on Tuesday night as Tim Hardaway Jr. fractured the fifth metatarsal (the bone that connects to the little toe) on his left foot during Dallas' 130-92 loss to Golden State.
There is no word yet on how long Hardaway will be out, but it will surely be a significant amount of time. It's not out of the question that he could miss the rest of the regular season.
Here's the play on which the injury appeared to happen.
Hardaway is not having a great season shooting-wise at under 34 percent from 3 and under 40 percent from the field. But he's a main source of offense off Dallas' bench and a threatening scorer every night.
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The Mavericks have become a top-tier defensive team this season under Jason Kidd but entering play on Tuesday the offense had fallen over five points per 100 possessions from last season. Some of that is Hardaway's shooting; the Mavericks haven't shot well in general. Luka Doncic is under 30 percent from 3 and at this point, we might just have to admit he's not that good of a shooter.
The point is, Dallas can ill afford to lose offense. Hardaway just isn't immediately replaceable, and it's unlikely that Dallas can make a move to replace him before the trade deadline. There has been talk of Jalen Brunson being a target of a handful of teams, but Dallas is going to have a hard time letting go of Brunson now that Hardaway is out for an extended period.
*We will update this story as more details become available.