Besides badgering Donovan Mitchell, the indefatigable Hart logged a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double and drilled a clutch three-pointer to help secure the victory. It was his first playoff appearance, and he made a statement with it.
During the game, Hart turned an ankle. At the time, the injury didn’t appear to be serious—it certainly didn’t stop him from driving daggers into Cleveland’s heart. But today, Ian Begley (SNY.com) reported that due to the sprained ankle, “He participated in parts of practice. His status for Game 2 will be based on how he feels tomorrow morning.”
Tom Thibodeau said Josh Hart mainly got treatment on his sprained ankle during practice today and ‘did a little bit of’ what the team did during the session. “Just get treatment again tomorrow, see where he is,” Thibodeau said.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 17, 2023
The Knicks traded for Hart in February. In 25 regular season games with Jalen Brunson’s Villanova teammate on the roster, New York went 17-8. As a bench player, the newest Knick has averaged 10.2 points, seven boards, and 3.6 dimes. He’s had an average net rating of +7.6 and has been the model of defensive toughness.
The Knicks have beaten the Cavaliers four games in a row, including three straight regular season contests, and Game Two is scheduled for Tuesday. Hart is a key player on a bench unit that far outperforms its Cleveland counterpart. He received treatment on the ankle at practice today, will receive more tomorrow, and is likely to be a game-time decision. Based on his competitiveness, count on Hart to attempt to play on one leg if necessary.