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Pistons vs. Knicks: Tim Hardaway Sr. wants Tim Hardaway Jr. to play well and lose

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The proud father will coach against his son for the first time in his life.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Hardaway's been a familiar face in the crowd whenever his son, Tim Hardaway, Jr., has taken the court in recent years — first at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor when his son played for the Michigan Wolverines, and again last year at Madison Square Garden during Hardaway, Jr.'s rookie year with the New York Knicks. From Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

"I was there for his first game, first preseason game, first real game – it was great," he said. "It’s something I can’t describe. You’ve got to go through it, but it feels great. Your son is out there doing something that you love to do and was very passionate about doing it and now he has the passion, he has the love and he wants to go out there and excel. It’s just fun watching him play."

Tonight, the proud father will once again have an up close view of his son — but for the first time in his life, he's hoping to see his son lose. More, from Pistons.com:

"I’m trying to win here, too," Stan Van Gundy’s rookie assistant coach, Tim Hardaway, said on the eve of his first game ever on the opposite end of the court from his son. "So I’m going to let the players know, I’m going to let the staff know what I think we should do to him so he won’t be in his comfort zone. That will ultimately make him better, so it can go two ways. But I want to win here first."

[...] "You always want your son to come out and play well and do what he’s supposed to do out there on the basketball court, no matter who he’s playing against," he said. "And that’s what I want my son to do, just go out there and play well. You always want what’s best for your son."

Hardaway Jr.'s playing time has been sliced in half this year: after playing 23.1 minutes as a rookie, he's averaging just 11 minutes in New York's first four games. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert are ahead of him in the rotation, and Derek Fisher has reportedly been hard on the second-year guard because of his sub-par terrible rebounding. From Joe Flynn at Posting and Toasting:

Hardaway is an unfathomably terrible rebounder for a guard listed at 6'5". Shane Larkin, all 5'11" of him, pulled down two boards in each of his first two games as a Knick; Timmy failed to grab at least two rebounds in 49 of 81 games last season. That's 60.5 percent of his games with one rebound or less! You almost have to try to miss out on that many boards!

As a Michigan alum who enjoyed watching Hardaway, Jr. in college, I hope he eventually figures it out — but like his pop, I don't want it to happen tonight.

Update: Well, maybe we'll see more of Timmy Jr. after all — J.R. Smith was suspended one game for this groin shot to Glen Rice, Jr. in the Knicks' loss Tuesday vs. the Wizards.