New York’s $71 million man turning heads
When the Knicks decided to sign Tim Hardaway Jr. to a 4-year, $71 million contract, many fans were skeptical. Some believed that this was would have negative long-term affects on the organization. Over the course of this season, Hardaway has been spectacular. He has churned out solid performances night after night for New York, even having one of the best games of his career on Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors.
Bringing it Home
Hardaway Jr. dropped a career-high 38 points on the Raptors while shooting 48.1% from the field. It’s worth mentioning that four of those buckets came from behind the 3-point line. His output didn’t end with points, as he added six rebounds and seven assists to his solid performance. With most eyes on Kristaps Porzingis, Hardaway used the lack of attention he was getting to make some noise. His great effort helped to move the Knicks up to the fifth seed in the East with their ninth win at home.
As a whole the Knicks played well. Kristaps Porzingis, who usually leads the offensive charge for the team, finished with 22 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The team overall finished strong, particularly in the third quarter where the Knicks scored 41 points against the Raptors’ ten. The Knicks went up against some pretty hard defense, with the Raptors getting 10 blocks, but the surprise performance by Hardaway really lifted the team. This game just goes to show how much the Knicks are truly improving.
Now standing at 10-7 overall, the Knicks moved up to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. New York heads to Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Friday in hopes of building on this record. Perhaps Hardaway will have another breakout game, but tonight was his. He went out and proved that he is worth every penny of his $71 million contract.