2: Transition Offense
The Knicks lost one of their best transition threats, Obi Toppin, to a trade with Indiana last month. A full season of the Josh Hart experience should help New York continue to run the floor hard, though.
Not only is he excellent at securing rebounds, but his quick decision-making afterward to push the pace in search of easy buckets has paid off time and time again. He shot 74.7% in the restricted area as a Knick last season, the second-highest mark on the team behind springy reserve center Jericho Sims.
Hart can either toss a long outlet pass or run the floor himself, often utilizing his patented left-hand-dribble-to-right-hand-layup maneuver to punish defenses scrambling to get back.
Rebounds aren’t the only method Hart uses to initiate transition opportunities, as his superb lateral movement, relentless energy, and quick hands often result in steals.
He finished first among all New York players in both deflections and defensive loose balls recovered per game, according to NBA.com. Additionally, his 1.6 steals per 36 minutes ranked just behind perimeter protector Miles “Deuce” McBride for the team lead.
Hart’s combination of talent on the glass, physical driving ability, and consistent defensive tenacity is a skill set that isn’t matched by anyone else on the roster. It’ll be much needed if the Knicks go all-in to compete for a championship over the next few years.