Tuesday, the New York Knicks announced that starting shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. will miss at least two weeks due to a leg injury.
According to the Knicks’ statement on Twitter, two weeks isn’t when fans can expect to see Tim Hardaway Jr. back on the court—it’s when he’ll be re-evaluated.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (stress injury lower left leg) has begun a treatment and rehabilitation plan. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 5, 2017
Hardaway has missed the past two games due to the injury and the Knicks have missed him dearly. They’ve dropped back-to-back games, without Hardaway, to the Orlando Magic and then the Indiana Pacers.
In the game against the Magic, the Knicks came back but could not seal the deal late in the fourth quarter. They were clearly missing a go-to-guy with both Hardaway and Kristaps Porzingis sidelined. Hardaway is currently averaging 5.3 points in the fourth quarter this year. That average is good for second on the Knicks and 25th in the league.
The team looked dead against the Pacers, trailing by as many as 30 points. The Knicks struggled to score the ball against a lackluster Pacers’ defense, dropping only 65 points through the first three quarters.
Hardaway Jr. is enjoying the best season of his career so far. He has arguably been the second most important Knick, behind Kristaps, so far this year. Offensively, he is second on the team in points per game (17.6) and assists per game (3.3). Defensively, he has been better than ever in terms of his career averages. He is averaging career bests in steals per game (1.1), rebounds per game (4.2), and defensive box plus/minus (minus-0.8). Hardaway also has a career-high 15.6 player efficiency rating.
The good news is that the Knicks are expected to get Porzingis back for their matchup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, but they are going to need more. Enes Kanter and Courtney Lee have to step up in Hardaway’s absence if the Knicks want to continue to win games without their starting shooting guard.
The Knicks will play seven games in the next two weeks, but their opponents have a combined .329 win percentage. This will be a crucial stretch for the team. As fans, we can only sit back, watch, and hope they can come together without their second-leading scorer.