NBA Hoops

P.J. Washington emerges as reliable third scoring option for Mavericks when they need it most

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Before the NBA playoffs started, the Dallas Mavericks didn’t have a bonafide third scoring option on the team. Tim Hardaway Jr. finished the regular season as the third-leading scorer, but that number is kind of inflated because of his hot start to the season, which cooled off around February when his 3-point shot was anything but automatic, and his playing time slowly decreased. When the Mavericks did a sign-and-trade for Grant Williams last summer, the thought was that he could be that third guy, capable of being the lockdown perimeter defender, while knocking down triples off feeds from Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on the other end. 

That never really came to fruition for Williams or the Mavericks. He was quickly jettisoned to the Charlotte Hornets in February for PJ Washington, a slightly taller yet not as strong forward, who, like Williams, has shown flashes of being an impactful player but has also gone through dreadful stretches of inefficiency. The Mavericks were obviously banking on the former to become true, but it wasn’t until the playoffs started that he really showed on a consistent basis that he could be the third option the Mavericks needed.

Through the first two rounds of the playoffs, Washington is averaging 13 points and six rebounds while shooting an extremely efficient 47.5% from the field and a much-needed 41.3% from 3-point range. His 29 points against the Thunder in Game 2 of their second-round series ended up being the difference maker in the Mavericks’ 119-110 win. He went 7 of 11 from beyond the arc, which is tied for third most 3s made in a…

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