Knicks Update: Josh Hart logging huge minutes for beat up?

Knicks Update: Josh Hart logging huge minutes for beat up?

Josh Hart logging big minutes for banged-up Knicks.

Josh Hart sat down for the first time Thursday night with 7:34 remaining in the second quarter, but he was back on the court after only 50 seconds of game time had elapsed.

That ended up being Hart’s only break in the Knicks’ loss to the Warriors as he logged a season-high 47:10 of a regulation 48-minute game.

Hart began the season as a key member of the Knicks’ second unit, but he has started the past 14 games due to injuries to forwards Julius Randle and OG Anunoby.

Josh Hart and Stephen Curry dive for a loose ball during the Knicks’ 110-99 loss to the Warriors. Jason Szenes for the New York Post

He has logged 40.0 minutes per appearance over that stretch, averaging 12.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists.

“At the end of the day as a competitor I want to play,” Hart said after Thursday’s game. “If I went out, especially if we were making a run and I got [taken] out, I’m mad. You know what I mean? I want to play as much as I can.”

It’s not panic time yet for Knicks, but it’s getting close.

The 28-year-old Hart also expressed frustration with the Knicks’ recent 3-8 slide with various players sidelined, saying, “I’m not sure what you all expect or what you all think. We are playing as best as we can with the bodies that we have.”

Still, Tom Thibodeau said he’s “always talking to [Hart]” about his extended playing time, which includes six of the past seven games of at least 40 minutes.

“He’s handled it well,” Thibodeau said. “Obviously, we’re shorthanded right now so that’s what’s required. But [he had] 18 rebounds, seven assists [Thursday night]. And he’s a great defender, so we need him right now.”

Josh Hart pulls a rebound away from Chris Paul during the Knicks’ loss to the Warriors. Jason Szenes for New York Post

In five games since the All-Star break, Hart also has connected on 11 of 28 attempts from 3-point range (39.3 percent).

While that isn’t quite the scorching 51.9 percent he shot over 25 games with the Knicks last season following his February acquisition from the Trail Blazers, it represents a marked improvement from his .306 shooting percentage from long range over his first 54 appearances this season.

Try to get the ball off my palm.

“I’ve tried to tweak some stuff, keep the elbow in, try to get the ball off my palm as much as I can. Just repetition and confidence,” Hart said. “Just continuing to work on it.

“I think this was the first All-Star [break] that — normally I let my body rest over All-Star, don’t do anything. This one I was in the gym every day, trying to get back to the basics. Then when I go out there, not think and shoot with confidence. If teams are going to play off of me, I’ve got to be confident to take and make shots.”


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