Knicks rising star using Team USA playing time to prepare for breakout 2023 season

New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) reacts after being ejected from the game during the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks SG Josh Hart made his Team USA starting debut this week as HC Steve Kerr gave him the nod versus Jordan. Alongside former Villanova Wildcats and current Knicks teammate Jalen Brunson, Hart put on a masterclass for Team USA, looking primed for a breakout 2023 season in the NBA.

Josh Hart shines in starting debut for Team USA

With a game-high 12 rebounds in 18 minutes of play, Hart made his presence known, adding another dimension to Team USA. The ability to be multifaceted and create second-chance opportunities adds to the National Team’s dominance.

Through Team USA’s first three games, Hart leads the team in plus-minus and rebounds. Leading the team in rebounds in back-to-back games, Hart has established himself as a polarizing presence on the floor aside from scoring. Adding hustle plays on defense with his high IQ, Hart is great in a lineup with predominant scorers.

When asked about starting Hart over Brandon Ingram, Head Coach Steve Kerr stated, “I liked what we saw…So we’ll see; we haven’t made any decisions going forward.”

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Why Hart could have a breakout season for the Knicks

The New York Knicks have RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson, and Hart contributing favorably to their respective World Cup roles. Their basketball IQ and confidence are taking a step before fans’ eyes. World Cup competition demands a level of intensity similar to that required by an NBA postseason.

Following the second-round exit to the Miami Heat, the Knicks will be more formidable than they’ve been in a long time come next season. As Hart consistently builds his reputation as a key role player for Team USA, his role with New York will insist on him maintaining these abilities come the start of the season.

Maintaining consistency will allow the Knicks to be more multidimensional than they’ve ever been. With teams having to game plan against Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson’s rebounding advantages, Hart’s name will become a familiar sight. Averaging seven rebounds per game last season, the winning mentality of Hart goes without question.

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