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Josh Hart’s Impactful Role for the Knicks in the Playoffs

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Josh Hart‘s season began with him questioning his offensive role on the Knicks, even after signing a four-year extension following an impactful midseason trade from Portland in February 2023.

But Hart’s integral role as a do-it-all wing was absolutely unquestioned as the first round of the playoffs began Saturday against the 76ers at the Garden.

The great-nephew of four-time World Series champion and Yankees legend Elston Howard, Hart displayed his New York spirit.

Hart became an invaluable workhorse for Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks over the final two-plus months of the regular season, with the starting frontcourt of Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, and Mitchell Robinson all missing significant time.

The 29-year-old Hart started the final 36 games after Randle and Anunoby first departed the lineup in late January.

He averaged 40 minutes per game over the stretch, more than NBA leader DeMar DeRozan logged over 79 appearances for the season.

For me personally, I don’t really think the confidence has changed too much. At the end of the day, I go out there and I play my game,’ Hart said.

As a way of explaining his early struggles from 3-point range, Hart had said in November that he didn’t ‘feel included’ in the team’s offensive sets.

Hart never fully rediscovered his outside shot, finishing the year with a career-worst shooting percentage from beyond the arc.

The 6-foot-4 wing emerged as a versatile dynamo filling various categories on the scoresheet over his final 36 appearances, posting impressive stats.

Hart even recorded six triple-doubles after never previously having one during his first six-plus NBA campaigns.

For me, I just go out there, like, playing basketball. And I just have fun with it,’ Hart said.

Rachel Adams

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