In a critical moment of the game, and indeed the entire season, Josh Hart remained resolute. Without any hesitation, he stepped up and made a decisive shot, providing the momentum for the Knicks to tie the Eastern Conference semifinal series at 1-1. This weekend, the action will shift to Miami, and the Knicks will be hoping to build on their recent success.
Hart’s 3-pointer, with just 1 minute and 38 seconds left on the clock, stretched a slim one-point lead to four. From there, he continued to make significant contributions at both ends of the court, helping the Knicks to clinch a hard-fought 111-105 victory over the Heat in Game 2. The sold-out Garden was electric as Hart made big plays, securing the win.
This was reminiscent of his clutch 3-pointer during Game 1 of the opening-round series against the Cavaliers. That shot propelled the Knicks into the lead, ultimately leading to a series victory.
Jalen Brunson remarked that Josh Hart has a natural inclination to make the right play at the crucial moment. It’s an innate characteristic of his, evident in his ability to secure offensive and defensive rebounds, make accurate passes, penetrate the lane, and knock down crucial shots. Brunson expressed his unwavering confidence in Hart’s abilities.
Despite his impressive performance in Game 2, Hart had a challenging time offensively in the opening game against the Heat. He missed all four of his 3-point shots.
Despite his earlier struggles in the series, Hart maintained his confidence and demonstrated his versatility in Game 2, delivering an outstanding all-around performance. In 33 minutes, he recorded 14 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, finishing with a team-high plus-16 rating.
Hart excelled when the game was on the line, and the Knicks were struggling to avoid falling behind 0-2 as they headed to Miami. He sunk a crucial 3-pointer, scored ten points in the fourth quarter, and secured four vital rebounds. He also continued to play his signature tough defense, contributing to the Knicks’ success in holding the Heat to just 12 points in the final 7:06 of the game.
Coach Tom Thibodeau lauded Hart’s impressive all-around performance in Game 2, highlighting his playmaking ability, scoring, rebounding, and defensive contributions. Hart’s versatility has made him an indispensable part of the Knicks’ roster since joining the team at the trade deadline.
Hart’s close friendship and former Villanova teammate, Jalen Brunson, has undoubtedly played a part in his success with the Knicks. The two players share a history and understanding on the court that has translated into a productive partnership on the team.
Since joining the Knicks, Hart has been a significant contributor to the team’s success, as demonstrated by their impressive record of 21-10. He has elevated the team’s performance to another level with his contributions at both ends of the floor. His impact on the team was most evident in the fourth quarter of Game 2, where he played a pivotal role in securing the win.
It’s possible that, when the series concludes, the Knicks will reflect on Hart’s clutch 3-pointer in Game 2 with the same fondness as they do on his shot in Game 1 of the Cavaliers series. Hart has proven himself to be a reliable performer in crucial moments, and his contributions could be the key to the Knicks’ success in this series and beyond.