Tim Hardaway Jr. made his long-awaited return after a 20 game absence due to a stress-related left leg injury against the Timberwolves on Friday night, but the Knicks lost 118-108. Hardway Jr. scored 16 points off the bench in 25 minutes.
It was a strong return for Hardaway, who is on a minutes restriction. He easily led the Knicks in plus/minus at plus-11 and his 16 points came on 6-13 shooting. All in all, he was actually surprised that he felt so good.
"Conditioning felt good actually,'' Hardaway said, via Marc Berman of NY Post. "I was very surprised. It will take a couple of games before I get a feeling of who I am on the floor.''
The Knicks have gone 8-12 in the 20 games that Hardaway Jr. has missed and the team has been desperately missing his scoring ability in that stretch.
"I feel good - had a little burst of speed here and there,'' Hardaway said. "It was great to get my feet wet, taking hits, bumps, finishing at the rim, knocking down jumpers."
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek was content with how Hardway Jr. said, echoing the same sentiment as the guard.
"Yeah he looked good - you can tell he wasn't up to his speed,'' Hornacek said. "That's going to take a little while. His speed even at this [stage] is faster than a lot of our guys. His speed will pick up and ability to drive to the basket. Maybe he's not ready to make that two-set drive from the top of the key."
Hardway Jr. and the Knicks are next in action on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. against the Pelicans.