Knicks’ Josh Hart working through early 3pt-shooting slump

Josh Hart, New York Knicks
Feb 11, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) reacts after making a three point basket against the Utah Jazz during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

When Josh Hart made the move to the New York Knicks at last year’s NBA trade deadline, the former Portland Trail Blazers forward wowed with energetic and efficient play. Now, Hart is battling with an outside shooting slump through the Knicks’ first 16 games.

Knicks: More Looks, Less Makes From Outside For Josh Hart

Hart was only making 30.4% of his threes in 51 games with the Blazers last season. He averaged the same amount of attempts in 25 games with the Knicks, yet saw his clip rise all the way to 51.9%.

Hart has grown more confident from the outside, increasing his attempts from 2.2 to 3.1 a game. Yet, his rate of success has plummeted down to 28.6%, which is a career-low, though early. Hart has not been known to be a standout three-point shooter but has given the four teams he’s suited up for a steady option off of the catch-and-shoot.

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Knicks Working Through Early Season Kinks

His cold spell is part of the greater woes that the Knicks have faced early. Getting good looks has been an area that the Knicks have yet to overcome, though they’ve shown potential in spurts. The Knicks have put more of a concerted effort toward increasing their volume from outside, and as a team are shooting 37.1%, good for eighth-best in the NBA. However, they shoot 44% from the floor and have had ebbs and flows throughout.

As a whole, Hart’s productivity is down across the board. He’s not as active on the glass and the amount of times he’s getting to the free throw line alone (0.6 att/g) tells us everything we need to know about how the Villanova product can start to turn things around.

It’s not likely that Hart will continue to shoot this poorly from outside, but as the season wares on, he’ll show whether it’s a brief spell or something that requires more attention. The Knicks don’t have many players threatening his position as the backup forward on the team, so Hart should be good to work out his problems with reps on the court for the time being.