The Knicks better learn how to play without Tim Hardaway Jr.
The guard will be out at least two weeks because of the “stress injury” to his right leg, according to the team, which added that Hardaway would only be “re-evaluated” after that timeframe. There were no further details about the diagnosis or whether the 25-year-old suffered a fracture.
The Knicks (11-12), losers of five of their last six, are 0-2 without Hardaway, who is averaging 17.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 34 minutes. He has dealt with injuries this season to his foot and calf, which may have contributed to a wear-and-tear situation with the stress ailment.
In the last two games, coach Jeff Hornacek started rookie Damyean Dotson in Hardaway’s spot and the Knicks fell to the Magic and Pacers.
They play seven games before Hardaway’s re-evaluation, including tonight against the Grizzlies. Kristaps Porzingis, who missed the last two games with an ankle sprain, is probable for that matchup.
Tim Hardaway Jr. will miss at least two weeks with his injury.
“We’ll figure it out,” Michael Beasley said. “We did at the beginning of the season when Tim was in his slump. So hopefully it’s not long-term with Tim. I wish him all the best. We love him. Just got to figure it out as a team.”
The “slump” Beasley referenced was Hardaway shooting just 26% in the first four games of the season. The Knicks won just one of those games. Following criticisms about his robust contract, Hardaway quickly demonstrated his improvements on defense and with his playmaking. He leads the team in minutes per game (34.1), a career high.
“He’s got the ability to be outside but he can also drive the ball,” Hornacek said. “That 3-point threat makes guys get up on him and allows him to drive. He can get a shot off any time he wants, which not a lot of our guys can. We have a few that can. Guys that can create their own stuff are important. Tim’s played great for us so far, so it’s a tough loss for us right now.”