The New York Knicks are inexplicably letting Tim Hardaway Jr. play through plantar fasciitis rather than shutting him down.
Tim Hardaway Jr.’s recent cold streak appears to be coinciding with a sore right heel and a recent bout with plantar fasciitis. According to Chris Iseman of NJ.com, Hardaway will be available for Wednesday night’s game when the New York Knicks take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Of course, that begs the question: Why?
“Some days it aches so bad that you can’t move on it and other days you can tolerate it,” Fizdale told Iseman.
So some days Hardaway can’t move on it, but there’s no thought to shutting him down for a week or so? Fizdale went on to discuss the injury further:
“He’s going to tell us,” Fizdale said. “We’re going to treat it. The more he can tolerate, that’s how much what we’ll go with it. When he can’t take it anymore, that’s when we’ll give him rest. One of those injuries is a real tender injury because you do everything with your heel. He’s been battling for us. That’s why I love him.”
There’s no questioning Hardaway’s toughness, but what’s the point of letting him play through pain when it is clearly affecting his play? The Knicks aren’t fighting to make the playoffs so missing their leading scorer for a few games isn’t the end of the world.
Shutting him down for a week or two seems to be a preferable option to letting THJ battle through a nagging injury.
Moreover, there is no indication that the Knicks are shopping Hardaway, but trading him would clear the cap space for a max slot next summer. There are a few teams in need of a wing scorer who can get his own shot.
There’s a chance that the Knicks could get something of value in return for Hardaway, but not if he’s hobbling around with a sore heel.
Either way, letting Hardaway play through the pain is an odd move. This isn’t a playoff push where the Knicks need all hands on deck. This is the middle of December for a rebuilding team. What is the point of trotting out a Hardaway who is less than his best?