It’s early, but breaking shooting slump mattered to Hardaway Jr.


It’s early, but breaking shooting slump mattered to Hardaway Jr.

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Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Hawks dunks against Alexis Ajinca of the Pelicans at Philips Arena on October 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Maybe, Tim Hardaway Jr. let that 3-of-30 shooting start to the preseason affect him a little.

The Hawks guard struggled mightily shooting the basketball in his first three appearances, including missing all 11 3-point attempts. However, Hardaway has shown a dramatic turnaround the past two games.

Hardaway led the Hawks with 16 points in Tuesday’s 96-89 exhibition win over the Pelicans. He was 7 of 10 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range.

“It feels good,” Hardaway said Tuesday night. “I know it’s preseason and a lot of this stuff doesn’t count. A lot of this stuff matters. It matters to me. Just to see a couple (shots) go down in Orlando and to see me play well like this (tonight), my teammates helped me out tremendously throughout this whole process and made sure I kept my head high.”

Now, after five appearances, he is 16 of 55 (.291) but still 3 of 20 from 3-point range. He has taken the most shot attempts of any Hawks this preseason, easily outdistancing Dwight Howard’s 43 attempts for second most.

Hardaway said he worked to do other things to put the shooting slump behind him.

“Not only that,” Hardaway said when asked if the difference was simply seeing some shots fall. “It’s just moving on to the next play. Even though you miss a shot, get back on defense, get a steal, try to get a rebound, get your teammates involved. That’s just what I tried to do.”

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