About three weeks after he was recognized with a stress damage, there’s nonetheless no timeline for Tim Hardaway Jr.’s return.
The Knicks knew this is able to be a protracted restoration course of, however their updates of a “revaluation” each couple of weeks sounds so much higher than “out not less than a month.” Particularly for a participant simply handed a $71 million contract.
With that being mentioned, there was an encouraging signal after apply Tuesday when the 25-year-old was elevating on his jumpers and never sporting a brace.
As not too long ago as Dec. 18, each had been forbidden by crew docs.
“He is shifting extra on a regular basis,” Jeff Hornacek mentioned. “So we’re simply monitoring him extra, giving him a bit little bit of time to see how that stress (damage) responds when he places a bit weight on it. So it is a good signal that he is on the market doing that.”
The Knicks are 6-6 this season with out Hardaway Jr. and clearly missed him the final two video games whereas blowing fourth-quarter results in the Pistons and Sixers.
Greater than something, the offense has suffered with out the crew’s second-leading scorer behind Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks (17-16) averaged 98 factors of their final 4 video games, nicely under the 104 they’re averaging for the season.
Transition buckets have dwindled in Hardaway Jr.’s absence. In consequence, Hornacek spent the whole thing of Tuesday’s apply going over offense.
“We’re not getting sufficient straightforward buckets,” Hornacek mentioned. “We’re nonetheless getting our 100 factors, however we’re not having these video games the place we get 110, 112. Our protection has been actually good. We have saved groups down. We simply should stability the offense now.”
Till the return of Hardaway Jr., the Knicks are hoping that the Sixers did not expose a flaw by pressuring them right into a sloppy, bumbling defeat. With out speedy ball handlers on the roster, New York failed miserably to regulate to Philly’s fullcourt press.
Level guards Jarrett Jack and Frank Ntilikina had been terrible establishing the offense and mixed to shoot 2-for-13. The Knicks totaled 4 fastbreak factors.
Hornacek hopes Ntilikina will modify.
“We all the time inform our level guards – if somebody is pressuring you, simply drive proper round them,” the coach mentioned. “Do not anticipate them to get into your physique and attempt to make a transfer. …And that is one thing that Frank will study.”