4 Dark Horse Knicks That Can Power a Deep Postseason Run

The New York Knicks are a team everyone is watching to get to the Eastern Conference Finals. Which underrated players will they need to show up in the playoffs to make a deep bid?
 New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) celebrates with teammates
New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) celebrates with teammates / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Josh Hart

New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) shoots the ball during
New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) shoots the ball during / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s very hard to avoid the common play on words, but Josh Hart’s name truly emphasizes what he brings to the team in terms of relentless hustle and pure playoff grit. 

Whenever he is on the court, opposing teams have to pay their due respect to Hart and how his intensity can create damage in so many ways. He averaged only 9.4 points per game on 43.4% shooting during the regular season—even as a starting fixture after Julius Randle went down—but his presence is felt as he zooms around like the Energizer bunny and rips down dozens of rebounds on a nightly basis. 

In 81 games this season, Hart often found himself positioned as the Knicks’ leading rebounder and it was a big factor in him sniffing the record for most triple-doubles in a single season by a New York player. He ranked 21st in the league with an average of 8.3 boards per game which mostly came on the defensive end. Still, he finished with 30 games holding at least 10 rebounds and had six triple-doubles after having none in his first seven seasons. 

Without Randle and Mitchell Robinson, who missed most of the regular season with an ankle ailment, many thought rebounding was going to be an issue for the Knicks that would deteriorate their chances to compete. Yet, Hart picked up a ton of the slack, reeling in the second-most rebounds per game for the team and helped them create tons of second chance shots that helped make up for the offensive deficiency from injuries.

The Knicks finished the season ranked high atop the field in major rebounding and defensive metrics as a result of Hart’s glass dominance. Per Pro Basketball Reference, New York enters the playoffs with the No. 1 offensive rebounding average, the fifth total rebounding average, top-2 opponent rebounding percentages and top-10 rating on both sides of the ball. 

As they enter the playoffs, pieces like Hart will need to maintain that consistent presence on the glass and make it difficult for opponents to stick around with their very streaky offense. The Knicks have a penchant for tiring teams out in the fight for loose balls and with it they can have a secret weapon towards advancing deep against any matchup.