Along with Iman Shumpert‘s performance and the resurgence of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tim Hardaway Jr.’s play was a pleasant surprise for New York Knicks fans in an otherwise dismal 2013-14 season. The 24th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft proved to be full of potential on both ends of the floor, even though he only actually delivered in a high level on the offensive end.
While the endless search for a head coach continues, the Knicks need to look forward to the next season and figure out who is staying and who’s going on the current roster. Let’s break down Tim’s performance and see why the Knicks should hold on to him in the long run.
Defense is the aspect he really has to work on. He lacks the experience and maybe the acute basketball IQ to defend like a pro, but with his physical abilities and a little bit of NBA experience he can be a great lock on defender. Let’s hope his father – former five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway — and people around him let him know that good defense helps the team get wins as much as good offense. Good defense transcends into frequent transition opportunities, which are kind of Timmy’s thing.
Hardaway Jr. gave us some great moments this season on the offensive end. He showed what a great shooter and dunker he can be. He was able to create his own shots and finish plays off with clutch corner threes. One thing he lacks, though, is consistency. He went 0-for-7 a couple of times right after having fantastic games. One can only assume he will get better as time goes by. His fundamentals are great, and what more can fans ask of a late first-round rookie?
To go with great offensive potential, Hardaway Jr. has great athletic abilities. He really showed he belongs in the league on that matter. Speed, strength, agility and high jumps made him a highlight maker. Catching lobs, running the floor on transitions and dunking like no other in the team, Timmy provided fans all with lots of entertainment on a few otherwise boring games.
It’s safe to say that with a little bit of experience and focus on defense, Hardaway Jr. can surely be considered not only a starting shooting guard for the team, but a longtime high level player for years to come as well. That would make the Knicks irrational for not doing everything they can to hold on to him for as long as they can. The team lacks long-term planning and consistency on their business, but hopefully with Phil Jackson the administration will focus more on the team than on marketing results in short-term.