Tim Hardaway Jr. was selected to the All-NBA Rookie Team last season after showing off his scoring proficiency off the bench. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard proved to be an NBA-ready scorer, able to use his athleticism and marksmanship to drive to the hoop or convert difficult catch and shoot jumpers and threes.
The problem is that Hardaway is a scorer but not much else. His passing skills and rebounding ability are still unproven, and if he wants to be a consistent rotation piece of the New York Knicks‘ triangle offense, he will need to improve on both those aspects of the game. The triangle is about ball and player movement and finding the right man for the best shot opportunity available rather than an individual race for greatness.
After having a great performance at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Hardaway Jr. was selected to train with the 2014 USA Basketball Team from July28-31, and this will be a great opportunity for him to learn a different type of system basketball and improve his game overall.
When people talk about Carmelo Anthony — known for being a ball stopper and isolation player — playing in the triangle, his stints with the USAB National Team always come up. That was he only time in his career he had to act as a role player, not only focusing on saving the day with his scoring but also making everyone around him better.
If Hardaway Jr. uses this opportunity to learn everything he can about team play, sharing the ball and making the effort to win instead of just putting big numbers for himself, not only him but the Knicks in general will benefit immensely. He has the skill set in terms of ball handling and court vision to do it, and he certainly has the blessings of team president Phil Jackson, who reportedly deemed him “untouchable” among all the trading speculations during this offseason. But most of all he has the motivation to achieve what his father (five-time All-Star Tim Hardaway) never managed to do — win an NBA championship.