During Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 20 game absence due to a stress-related left leg injury, the Knicks went 8-12 and their offense appeared particularly slow without the $71 million man. Fans and teammates alike were happy to see his return on Friday night against the Timberwolves.
The Knicks lost 118-108 but Hardway Jr. enjoyed a successful first game back. Off the bench with a minutes restriction, Hardway Jr. scored 16 points on 6-13 shooting. He added 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 25 minutes.
Without Hardway Jr., Kristaps Porzingis has been tasked with shouldering the majority of the offensive burden.
"It was good to see him back and enjoying the game and just being happy,'' Porzingis said, via Marc Berman of NY Post. "He's going to help us get back on track.''
Hardaway Jr.'s performance was a bright spot in the team's loss Friday, as was Enes Kanter. The center scored 16 points on 8-10 shooting with 12 rebounds. Kanter believes that Hardaway Jr.'s mere presence makes everyone else 'confident and comfortable.'
"I was really happy for him because he was hungry, working really hard during this stretch,'' Kanter said. "He's back now. It makes everyone else so much confident and comfortable because of him. Offensively and defensively he was aggressive and energetic.''
Hardaway Jr. will look to build on his return on Sunday when the Knicks host the Pelicans at 3:30 p.m.