Appreciation Grows For Josh Hart’s Tireless Performance On The Knicks’ Playoff Platform

josh-hart

After securing a pivotal Game 2 victory amidst the electric atmosphere of Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks forward Josh Hart felt compelled to approach one of the team’s most infamous adversaries, Reggie Miller, to ensure a clear message was conveyed.

In the closing moments of their 130-121 triumph, with the raucous crowd of nearly 20,000 passionately chanting “Forget you, Reggie!” towards the former Indiana Pacer turned commentator for TNT’s television broadcast, Hart made it his mission to ensure Miller heard the fervent sentiment expressed by the fans.

In a post-game interview, Hart emphasized that his action was simply a gesture of acknowledgment, stating, “I just wanted to make sure he heard what the fans were chanting. I just wanted to make sure.” This act further endeared him to the fervent New York fan base, showcasing his understanding and connection with the passionate supporters.

The heart of the Knicks beats in rhythm with Hart’s relentless energy. While Jalen Brunson rightfully receives accolades for his outstanding performance this season, it’s Hart who serves as the indispensable engine driving the Knicks forward.

Operating at the small forward position, Hart, a key member of the Knicks’ Villanova contingent, has delivered impressive statistics throughout the playoffs, averaging 18 points and 12.8 rebounds per game while shooting at an impressive 47.1% from the field and 43.9% from beyond the arc.

As his playing time increases, so does his efficiency, evident in his recent performances where he’s averaging 19.7 points on a remarkable 61.1% shooting from the field over the last three games. Notably, he played a crucial role in the Game 6 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers and continued his stellar form with a stellar showing in Game 1 against the Pacers.

What sets Hart apart is his inexhaustible engine. Throughout the Knicks’ playoff journey, he has showcased his durability, playing every minute in four out of the team’s first nine playoff games, a feat not achieved since Jimmy Butler in 2013. Under the guidance of head coach Tom Thibodeau, known for his rigorous coaching style, Hart has thrived, epitomizing resilience and determination.

“Rest and recovery. My Lord works in mysterious ways,” Hart replied when asked about his workload (h/t Michael Scotto, HoopsHype). “[Game 2], I felt like I didn’t have it at all. The whole game I was reciting Isaiah 41:29. The weak he renews strength. That was the biggest thing. He allows you to walk and not faint.”

With potential challenges looming on the horizon, such as OG Anunoby’s uncertain status due to injury, Hart may find himself shouldering even greater responsibilities in the games to come. Yet, with his unwavering commitment and boundless energy, Hart is poised to rise to the occasion and lead the Knicks to further success.

“I’m playing 48 [minutes] anyway,” Hart said. “Ain’t s—t change… Thibs always asks if I need [a break] and I always tell him no. As a competitor, you want to play. You want to play every second.”