I commented on players stepping up when Luka is on the bench or not playing during a conversation on Spotify Live. Kemba, Jaden, and other players put in the game when Luka is out could help the team by contributing collectively. Knowing Kemba’s physical issues and Hardy’s inexperience, a fan can only imagine a collective effort to match the points, rebounds, and assists the Don provides when he is on the court.
Kemba’s performance against the Cavs on December 17 is not enough to determine how the New York native will play this season. The plus minus impact recorded for Hardy was negative during the Cavaliers game. However, the minutes, assists, rebounds, and points Kemba and Jaden earned collectivly before overtime matched Luka's numbers. A significant difference is how Kemba and Jaden scored. Points scored by Jaden came from the charity stripe, whereas Kemba primarily scored in the paint. For clarity, Kemba hit 4 out of 13 three-pointers.
In a perfect scenario, the players will perform ideally during the days that Luka rests. Specifically, days when the Mavs have a big lead over teams or during scheduled rest days for Luka. Realistically, Hardy is an unproven guard, and the knee issues impacting Kemba is integral to the amount of time he will spend on the court. Additionally, Luka would get time to rest if Kemba and Jaden (or any of the other guards) are successful at contributing when Kidd puts them in the game.
Jaden needs experience on the court, and Kemba may play best during limited minutes. Developing Jaden and optimizing Kemba’s performance is an option, and I believe the plan would require a strategic plan and patience. Specifically, patience for Jaden and a minutes restriction plan for Kemba.