Knicks’ Josh Hart absorbs bulk of blame for Game 4 disaster

May 10, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) reacts to a made basket during game three of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks forward Josh Hart didn’t sugarcoat anything when it came to the team’s dreadful Game 4 performance against the Indiana Pacers, as he took the bulk of the blame for the team’s lackadaisical effort in their 89-121 loss.

“I put that on my shoulders,” Hart said after the game (h/t New York Daily News). “I’m supposed to be the energy guy of the team, and I didn’t do anything. I gave nothing. I put that on my shoulders. Now we’ve got to focus on rest and recovery and like I said, get ready for Tuesday.”

The Knicks played with little energy in Game 4

May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) is fouled by Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) in front of Pacers center Myles Turner (33) and guards Tyrese Haliburton (0) and Andrew Nembhard (2) during the fourth quarter of game one of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) is fouled by Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) in front of Pacers center Myles Turner (33) and guards Tyrese Haliburton (0) and Andrew Nembhard (2) during the fourth quarter of game one of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Hart played just 24 minutes and scored just two points while securing only three rebounds. The lesser workload may actually benefit Hart the rest of the series, as he had been playing close to the entire game for a majority of the playoffs thus far. He had entered Sunday as the leading rebounder in the postseason, an astonishing feat for a guy who is just 6’4” in height.

He along with the rest of the team showed serious signs of fatigue from start to finish in Game 4, as it was mostly an uncompetitive game throughout. The Knicks are currently missing four main rotation players, and there is still no word on when OG Anunoby can return from a left hamstring strain he suffered late in Game 2.

On top of that, Jalen Brunson has been dealing with foot soreness since Game 2, which is clearly affecting his ability to score. In the past two games, Brunson is averaging 22 points on just 37% shooting from the floor and is 2-for-11 on three-pointers in that span.

Josh Hart is beginning to feel the effects of his high workload

May 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

“Do I feel it? Yeah. But I mean, I think everyone does,” said Hart (h/t New York Daily News). “So at the end of the day it’s the playoffs. You’ve got to will yourself, will your body, and that’s something that I failed to do today. I’ve got to be better. There’s no excuses.”

The only thing the Knicks can do now is look past this game and focus on winning the series. The Knicks still have the home-court advantage, though Game 5 is certainly a must-win with Game 6 being in Indiana.

Getting the players rested and healthier for what will be their biggest game of the season is the main objective now, though it will be interesting to see how the Knicks respond to their worst loss of the year.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: