Tim Hardaway was a work in progress to fit on the Atlanta Hawks throughout the season. Before getting traded on Draft Night from the New York Knicks, Tim was known as a streaky shooter and a liability on defense. Many thought that the trade would be a bust and the Hawks should’ve selected Kelly Oubre (traded to Washington) , but the Hawks needed a player with more experience to compete this season. Hardaway’s expectations were huge to start the season. Many thought he could come in and make an immediate impact for the Hawks, and some went even far as to him starting after Demarre Carroll signed with the Toronto Raptors.
Surprisingly, neither of those scenarios happened.
Tim Hardaway didn’t see much of the court at the beginning of the season, and he eventually was sent to the D-League for to play for the Austin Spurs. Tim was still learning the Hawks scheme and improving as a defender, which is another reason he didn’t receive many minutes. He was also coming off a broken wrist in Summer League that seemed to slow him down. Through all of this , Tim continued to work hard and received for playing time in Atlanta’s second unit.
Tim Hardaway’s defense was one the biggest factors that helped him stay on the court. He was a part of the Hawks best defensive lineup and individually was one of the Hawks best defenders coming off the bench. His defense surely helped his offense in the month of March. Through a four game stretch, Hardaway averaged 17.8 points in 25.2 minutes. His shooting percentage also went up to 58.5 percent and 54.2 percent from deep. Entering the playoffs, Hardaway suffered a groin injury that seemed to affect his play through the Hawks run. He was in and out of the rotation and couldn’t find his shot, so altogether Coach Bud took him out the lineup.
Through it all, Tim’s second half surge proved to many that he can be a solid player for the Hawks for however long they decide to keep him. The coaching staff worked hard to change his game style and it was a success, and now the trade on draft night looks like a great idea.
Malik Brown (@Retro_Boy_)