3 Knicks Who Need More Playing Time for a Championship Run

These Knicks have been integral pieces to New York's success this season and should play as many minutes as they can handle the rest of the way.

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Isaiah Hartenstein

Another career-best performance is coming from the former second-round pick Isaiah Hartenstein. In his second season with the Knicks, the 25-year-old has blossomed into one of the most underrated players in the league.

Hartenstein was forced into a starting role after Mitchell Robinson sustained a long-term injury early into the season. Since he became a starter, he is averaging 8.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 31.4 minutes per game. He is adding over a steal and a block per game in these appearances as well.

Hartenstein quickly became a Tom Thibodeau favorite. He rebounds well, plays extremely hard, protects the rim, and can score around the basket when needed. He is one of the best offensive rebounders in the league.

Thanks to this, his season average in minutes is up to 25.6 per game. After being acquired via a trade, Precious Achiuwa has been getting some of Hartenstein's minutes, but the best Knicks lineups still include Hartenstein. In fact, New York is +8.7 points per 100 possessions better with Hartenstein on the floor than not, one of the best marks on the team.

If Robinson is going to miss more time, Hartenstein should play as many minutes as he can because his combination of size, defense, and rebounding is unmatched on this team.