Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau Praises Work of Isaiah Hartenstein

Tom Thibodeau, Isaiah Hartenstein, Knicks, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The New York Knicks kept their hopes alive for homecourt advantage in the NBA playoffs with a huge victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night. A 122-109 victory left New York in a tie with the Orlando Magic, who currently hold the No. 3 spot, and only a game behind the sputtering Bucks for second in the Eastern Conference.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, they do not have the tiebreaker against either team, losing the season series against both. However, the Bucks and Magic are set to face off against each other twice over the final week of the regular season, meaning New York will gain ground on someone as long as they handle their affairs.

Against the Bucks, a lot of the headlines are discussing the production of Jalen Brunson, who showed why he is a star. He scored a game-high 43 points, dominating his matchup with fellow NBA All-Star, Damian Lillard.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Isaiah Hartenstein, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks Updates

While Brunson led the way, he wasn’t the only player who produced at a high level for the Knicks in the win. Another one of the standouts was center Isaiah Hartenstein, who has to be hearing cha-ching every night he steps on the court.

On Sunday night, Hartenstein registered his ninth double-double of the season, scoring 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds. He is taking full advantage of opponents’ double-teaming Burnson once he steps over halfcourt, looking for his shot or making a pass to an open teammate.

But, there is one play Hartenstein was involved in that sticks out from Sunday’s matchup with the Bucks. In the fourth quarter, while New York was making their run, there was a loose ball on the floor. 

Hartenstein was the first to the floor, beating Lillard there and getting the ball into the hands of Donte DiVincenzo. He passed the ball ahead to Bojan Bogdanovic for an easy two, giving the Knicks a 10-point lead. It was a play that drew the attention of head coach Tom Thibodeau, who praised Hartenstein’s hustle in his post-game presser.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Isaiah Hartenstein, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks Updates

“That was unbelievable. Those are the kinds of plays, they inspire, they unite. If that doesn’t get you excited — probably even you guys got excited,” Thibodeau said, via Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Hartenstein has been integral to the Knicks’ success this season, stepping into the starting lineup when Mitchell Robinson got hurt. Without him, New York would not be in the position they currently are, as Hartenstein has been one of the most productive two-way players in the NBA.

It will be interesting to see how things unfold during the 2024 NBA offseason with Hartenstein. He has let it be known he wants to remain in New York, but at the end of the day, the NBA is a business and anything can happen.

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