There's only one disgruntled player on the New York Knicks' roster, and it isn't Josh Hart. How could he be upset, especially after how he played in New York's 115-91 win over Charlotte on Tuesday?
It's been a long time since a lot of attention was placed on a Knicks-Hornets weeknight game. The matchup wasn't nationally televised, but there was a lot on the line for New York. Fans spent more time doing math in their head trying to figure out point differentials than they did watching the game. It worked out in the end, as the Knicks secured a trip to the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals.
Hart helped boost New York's point differential with his season-high 17 points (7-of-10) off the bench. It marked only the seventh time he's scored in double figures in 2023-24, as he's struggled. With Obi Toppin gone, he's the team's primary backup power forward, and the size disadvantage has been an issue.
Hart voiced his concerns on Monday about the way he's been playing, saying that he doesn't feel "included" within the team's offense.
"I’m more someone who can get in the lane and find guys and stuff like that, and I’m capable of making shots. When you don’t have a rhythm like that or you don’t feel included, it’s just sometimes that’s tough not touching it and having to catch and shoot. So, it’s definitely something I’m working on and hopefully [I will] get in a better rhythm."
Josh Hart makes it clear he isn't disgruntled after Knicks win
In true Josh Hart fashion, he made sure to tell reporters to spread a message for him after New York's win.
It's hard to imagine Hart being disgruntled, especially after he signed a four-year extension over the offseason to stay in New York. He's been on the move the past two trade deadlines, and he said several times last season that he wanted to remain a Knick.
When Tom Thibodeau was asked about Hart's comments before Tuesday's game, he gave an in-depth answer.
Notice that Thibodeau said he's told Hart that when he's open, he needs to shoot it. That's been something that Hart's struggled with. It was noticeable in the Knicks' second-round playoff series against the Heat last season. Miami left him wide open on the perimeter, which clogged the paint and kept New York from getting into any sort of offensive rhythm.
Against Charlotte, Hart looked much more confident and comfortable. He shot 2-of-3 from the three-point line, the second time this season he's hit more than one three in a game. It was the type of outing that he desperately needed.
So, no, he isn't disgruntled. He was in a good rhythm on Tuesday, and hopefully, he'll be able to build on that as the season continues.