The New York Knicks are in a rebuilding year this season without their star player Kristaps Porzingis. The one player who will have the spotlight on him all season as being the guy every night and the veteran leader is Tim Hardaway Jr. Tim is in the second year of his long four year deal and will have a lot to prove this season as the leader of the team and a piece going forward. I will be breaking down Hardaway’s hot start to this season and what to expect from him the rest of the season and going forward.
Start to the Season
Tim Hardaway knew coming into this season that this was his opportunity to prove himself as a leader of the team and a go-to guy each and every night. Hardaway has been on a tear to start the season and has been more efficient this season as well which is key to his game. He has started all 12 games this season while averaging almost 33 minutes a game, which is leading the team. Hardaway’s efficiency has been getting better and better every game which is why the Knicks have been competitive this season.
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The reason that the Knicks have been in almost every game this season is due to the play of Hardaway. His leadership role has been amazing this season with communicating with the younger players to calming the team down when in tough situations. With all of the different lineup combinations this season, Hardaway has been a consistent piece in the lineup and has taken the younger guys under his wing, like Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Trey Burke, Kevin Knox, Alonzo Trier, and Emmanuel Mudiay. I have loved what I have seen from Hardaway to start this season and hope that he will keep being a great leader on and off the court as well as becoming more efficient and leading this team night in and night out.
The New York Knicks have a great young core to build towards the future in Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Alonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, and Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks will also have money to spend on a superstar free agent next off-season. New York is in great shape which is something that hasn’t been said in a while. With a new front office and a whole new coaching staff, all being on the same page for this year and beyond is important.
Now the Knicks will have to decide who else will be part of the future and Tim Hardaway is an interesting piece. Hardaway has proven in his time in the league to be a very good starting shooting guard, especially after his demotion in Atlanta which made him change his perception. The way Hardway is playing this season and the way he has grown as a player and a veteran leader/mentor while making an impression on the front office is impressive.
If Hardaway can continue to grow on the court with his efficiency and his play-making ability, he will be a huge piece to the Knicks moving forward. David Fizdale has had high praise for Hardaway since he arrived in New York and that goes a long way with the relationship between player and coach. During the game and a half that Hardaway missed this season, the Knicks struggled on both ends of the floor which proves his importance on the court each and every night.