Tim Hardaway Jr.’s defensive improvement in his two-year stint with the Hawks has been well-documented. But something else valuable occurred here — something he hopes all of his Knicks teammates can experience, too. Competing in the playoffs. “It was huge — just to be able to be in that situation,’’ Hardaway said of finally making the playoffs. “The atmosphere was something I’ll never be able to describe. It was great way to build as a ballplayer and know what you have to work at in the offseason. It makes you want to have that energy and desire to want to get back there.’’
Mindaugas Kuzminskas: Such a weird feeling watching Lithuanian National Team on TV.. can’t wait to play on that team again. Go @musukrepsinis! #mesuzlietuva #kuuuz P.S. Sorry @Kristaps Porzingis all the pictures I have are with you..😂

Jeff Hornacek was surprised at the big deal that was made about what he said to his players at halftime of the Wednesday’s win over the Raptors. Courtney Lee described what Hornacek said as “a little explicit.” Whatever he said, it worked: the Knicks went on a 28-0 run in the third quarter. “Boy,” Hornacek said following Friday morning’s shootaround. “They haven’t played for the coaches I’ve played if they think that that was harsh. “I guess that’s how they took it. You get in halftime sometimes, a lot of times they see what they can do better. They probably don’t want the coaches to tell them that, but sometimes you have to. It was a general speech for everybody. Just glad they came out in the second half and played well.”
Coach Jeff Hornacek wasn’t happy with New York’s effort on defense, and he wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts. “We came in here, we watched film and Coach kind of got on me. I really didn’t like what was being said,” Courtney Lee said. “… [It was] a little explicit. I don’t think I can repeat what he said to the media. But we exchanged words and we went from there.” Where the Knicks went from there was remarkable. They outscored the Toronto Raptors by 31 points in the third quarter, at one point scoring 28 straight en route to a 108-100 win.
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Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek orchestrated a point guard overhaul. Jarrett Jack and rookie Frank Ntilikina were in. Ramon Sessions and Ro Baker were out. “It’s been frustrating a little bit,” Baker said. “But I’m humbled to be in the position I am in. What’s tough is not being able to contribute when you win. We’ve been very successful to this point. When you see your teammates having success, it makes you want to be a part of it. I am a part of it, but in a different way. You just wish you were on the court to be part of this, especially winning at home.”