Hardaway Jr. is having a breakout year for the Knicks, averaging 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. For much of the season, the guard has lived up to his $71 million contract that he signed with the Knicks in the offseason. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Hardaway Jr. has been itching to return to the Knicks' lineup since Christmas.
“Once I know what that says, then possibly I’ll be able to go fullcourt. I’ve been (circling games to come back) since I’ve been out, from the first two weeks. First, I was itching to get back on Christmas, knew that wasn’t going to happen. Then I was itching to go back home to play in Miami (Friday) in front of my home town. It’s just painful not be out there. I definitely had those two games circled on my calendar. But that’s how life works.”
Hardaway Jr. is set to have a bone scan next week to determine his best course of action for a potential return for the Knicks on the road. Head coach Jeff Hornacek has acknowledged the impact that Hardway Jr. has on the Knicks and how much the team needs him on their upcoming road trip.
“He’s a big part of our team. We’ve been close in these games and you figure if you add one of your top players back that might be enough to get you over the hump in these games.”
The Knicks are 7-11 since Hardaway Jr. went down with a leg injury. The Knicks are about three games away from the eight spot in the Eastern Conference and look to get Hardaway Jr. back into the lineup for a postseason push.