Knicks’ Josh Hart Is Second Most Important Player On Team

Josh Hart, Knicks, NBA
Mar 18, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; New York Knicks forward Josh Hart (3) reacts during the first half of the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have done a wonderful job of staying afloat during the last few weeks of the NBA season. With several key players sidelined because of injuries, head coach Tom Thibodeau has had to adjust his lineups and dig deep into the team’s depth.

To overcome the losses of players as important as OG Anunoby, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, a total team effort is required. Everyone needs to step up and to this point, that is what has happened.

NBA All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson has received the most headlines and rightfully so. He has turned himself into a bonafide superstar, putting the team on his back on a nightly basis and helping lead them to wins.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Josh Hart & New York Knicks Updates

But, it has been more than a one-man show. He receives contributions from teammates every game, with arguably the biggest helper being Josh Hart. While labeled as a guard, you wouldn’t know it from everything Thibodeau asks of him.

In the team’s last game against the Golden State Warriors, Hart was moved to the starting power forward spot with Miles McBride being inserted into the lineup in place of Anunoby. Thibodeau was looking to adjust from the first meeting this season, when his two-bigs lineup did not work.

The adjustment paid off as the Knicks picked up an impressive 119-112 victory. Hart was an integral part of the win, as he played the entire 48 minutes without a rest. He was the first player in the NBA to play all 48 minutes this season, as he and McBride both played a ton. The only rest McBride received was 89 seconds in the fourth quarter.

The heavy minutes load isn’t anything new for Hart, who has been playing a ton since injuries began hitting the team. As shared by StatMuse on X, Hart has played 40+ minutes in 11 games since the NBA All-Star Break; no one else in the league has more than five.

Hart is a player that Thibodeau trusts as he can wear many hats on the court. Naturally a guard, he is capable of defending four positions on the court given how strong he is in the post. It is common to see him matching up with bigger players on the wing and in the frontcourt.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Josh Hart & New York Knicks Updates

The best rebounding guard in the league, Hart hits the glass like a big man, averaging 8.1 per game. He has also shown to be a capable playmaker as the outlet when teams blitz Brunson, averaging 3.7 assists per game.

Against the Warriors, he recorded his fifth triple-double of the season. They have all come since the injuries started piling up as Hart is producing across the board. The triple-double that he recorded against Golden State was a special one, as he is the first player in the NBA to play all 48 minutes and record a triple-double since Rajon Rondo in 2015.

With how banged up the Knicks have been, it is great to see Hart step his performance up, providing them with whatever they need on a given night. It will be interesting to see how Thibodeau handles things once he starts getting some regulars back, as Hart has been the second-best player for New York over the last seven weeks.

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