Hart, who signed a four-year, $81MM extension during the summer, believes he has a reduced role in the offense and doesn’t have the ball in his hands as often as he did last season. “I’m a rhythm player. So sometimes if I don’t touch the ball for four or five minutes running up and down the floor, just catch-and-shoot, I might as well be playing with a football,” Hart said.
However, his coach has an opposite view. “There really hasn’t been a change,” Thibodeau said. “To be honest, his usage is up. He’s handling the ball more. The way he’s being used is not any different than last year.”
Following the Knicks’ game against Charlotte on Tuesday, Hart made a point of telling the media he’s not unhappy, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. “Just so you know, I’m not a disgruntled player. Make sure y’all tweet that (stuff). Josh Hart said he’s not disgruntled.”
Katz detailed Hart’s usage in an in-depth piece on Tuesday.
We have more from the Atlantic Division:
- Paul Reed was surprised that his comments about the Lakers‘ Anthony Davis during the morning shootaround on Monday went viral, as Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer details. The Sixers big man called Davis “a big flopper” and added, “he’s going to be flailing.” Reed soon found out his comments caused controversy. “I started checking Twitter and Instagram,” he said, “and I’m like, ‘Damn, people are really mad at me in the Lakers community.’” Reed and Davis wound up sharing the court for only three minutes in Philly’s blowout win.
- Raptors first-round pick Gradey Dick shot 6-for-33 over his first two games with the Raptors 905, Toronto’s G League team. Dick, who has appeared in 15 NBA games, told Blake Murphy of Sportsnet he’s not worried about his shot. “My confidence hasn’t dwindled at all,” Dick said. “I mean, I’ll go take the next 10 shots, I don’t really care. Because I know me as a shooter, and it’s not any cockiness, but at the same time I think it’s positive cockiness. I’ve put in enough work off the court and I’m still doing it now where I have that confidence and trust.”
- Knicks wing RJ Barrett says he’s still trying to get back in form after a bout with migraines, Bondy writes. Barrett has shot 33% of the field in the last five games after dealing with the severe headaches. “I didn’t pick up where I left off,” Barrett said. “That’s OK. Honestly, this was going to happen at some point during the season whether I got sick or not. So, I’m just doing what I do all the time, working my way out of it. Not worried.”
- Cam Thomas and Dennis Smith Jr. are getting close to returning, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn told Dan Martin of the New York Post. A sprained left ankle has sidelined Thomas since Nov. 8, while Smith has missed the last five games with a lower back sprain. They both participated in simulated-game activity after the team’s shootaround on Tuesday. “They’re both trending in the direction of hopefully playing with us soon,’’ Vaughn said. “The fact that they both participated is a good sign.”