Only a few months ago, Erik Spoelstra and the Heat dared Josh Hart to shoot the ball on the perimeter in the New York Knicks’ second-round playoff battle. This strategy worked well for Miami as New York shot under 30% from three and was eliminated.
Spoelstra is an assistant coach on Steve Kerr’s Team USA staff this summer. He’s already spent several weeks with Hart and Jalen Brunson, who both had big performances in the United States’ rout over Greece on Monday. Brunson shot a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor for 13 points in 19 minutes, and Hart recorded 11 rebounds (five offensive rebounds).
Spoelstra’s talked about Hart’s aggressiveness during the postseason, but now that he’s gotten to watch him practice and play firsthand for a large part of the summer, he summed up the guard’s effort perfectly.
Erik Spoelstra told Steve Kerr Knicks guard Josh Hart “gets the 30/70 balls”
There isn’t a better quote that sums up what Josh Hart brings to the game. He has no issue with getting on the floor to make dirty plays, which is a reason why it didn’t take him long to become a fan favorite in New York. Hart is referred to as “the hart of the city” for a reason.
As Steve Kerr said, Hart doesn’t play a specific position, “he plays winner.” Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks front office would have to agree, given Hart signed a long-term extension to remain in New York a few weeks ago. He gives a much-needed boost of energy off the bench, and starting this season, he’ll headline the second unit with his former Villanova teammate Donte DiVincenzo, whom Kerr has also praised.
It won’t be long until Hart, Spoelstra, and Kerr are back on opposing sidelines, but both coaches would likely jump at the opportunity to bring the guard to Miami or Golden State. Luckily, that isn’t going to happen, at least for a while.
Josh Hart might be from Maryland, but he represents what it means to be a true New Yorker.