Knicks’ Josh Hart Stepping Up Amid Injuries

Josh Hart, Ochai Agbaji, Knicks, Jazz, NBA
Jan 30, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) and Utah Jazz guard Ochai Agbaji (30) fight for a loose ball during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries are something that every NBA team has to deal with at some point during their marathon regular season. Availability is the best ability in sports, and for the New York Knicks, they have been relatively success when it comes to players staying on the court. That was, until last weekend.

Star power forward Julius Randle suffered a serious shoulder injury that is expected to keep him sidelined for a few weeks. The injury could have been worse, as it sounds as if Randle only suffered a separation without any severe damage to the other muscles or tendons in the area.

While Randle could have gotten lucky with his diagnosis, he is still going to miss time. Unfortunately, it has also coincided with OG Anunoby being sidelined because of inflammation in his right elbow.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Josh Hart & New York Knicks Updates

With both of their starting forwards currently injured, the Knicks needed other players to step up. One of the guys who answered the call is Josh Hart, who has been inserted into the starting lineup the last two games and performed at a high level.

Against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, Hart provided a similar impact to Randle in certain areas. He pulled down 10 rebounds and handed out seven assists, replicating the production Randle has been providing.

New York won that game 113-92 on the road but the atmosphere felt like a home game. The Knicks fans drowned out any Hornets fans that were in the arena, chanting throughout the night and making their presence felt.

Against the Utah Jazz on the second night of a back-to-back, Hart had another stellar performance. This time, he recorded the first triple-double of his NBA career, scoring 10 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 43 minutes of action. He also added two steals and two blocks for good measure.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Josh Hart & New York Knicks Updates

Hart isn’t going to provide the Knicks with the same scoring punch Randle provides, especially from long-range as he is 0-for-6 on 3-pointers during this two-game stretch. But, he can certainly help in other areas. Despite standing only 6’5”, he is a tenacious rebounder who is willing to mix things up on the interior despite being undersized against some opponents.

All great teams have a player like Hart on their roster. Someone who can fill several different roles, filling whatever the need of the team is that night. New York is certainly fortunate to have him, and he has come up big with two of their main contributors currently sidelined by injuries.

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