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Key Knicks Player’s Game 7 Status in Jeopardy

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With this blow, the New York Knicks may have fallen to their knees.

They’ll fight. However, if Josh Hart is unavailable for Game 7, New York’s chance of reaching the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 24 years could go down the drain. This is the reality that they must contend with after Game 6.

Josh Hart’s Game 7 Status in Jeopardy

In the first quarter of Friday’s matchup against the Indiana Pacers, Hart sustained an abdominal injury while going up for a rebound.

In the fourth quarter, the tough veteran was seen clutching his midsection in extreme discomfort while on the Knicks’ bench.

Subbed out in the middle of a pair of Jalen Brunson free-throws, Hart was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the game, having tallied five points, eight rebounds, three assists, and one block in 31 minutes.

After Hart’s exit, New York outscored Indiana, 25-22. Brunson continued to put the team on his back, scoring 11 points in that stretch and going 3-4 from the field.

However, rather than delaying the inevitable, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau yanked his starters with just over three minutes remaining. At the time, the Pacers had an 18-point lead, New York unable to keep them out the paint. In fact, Indiana scored 62 points in the paint in Game 6.

Knicks Sound Off

As the Knicks prepare for Game 7, they appear optimistic that Hart will play.

Given that he played through the injury during Game 6, for the most part, it’s not hard to see why. With the ironman playing 43.6 minutes per game this postseason entering Game 6, there’s yet another reason to believe in his future availability: his commitment to winning.

Asked about Hart’s abdominal injury during the game, Thibodeau said, “you’re going to get bumped and bruised out there. He’s a tough guy. He’ll get through it.”

Isaiah Hartenstein shared a similar sentiment.

“Just knowing him. He’ll do whatever to play,” Hartenstein muses. “If his leg’s not falling off… he’ll probably play.”

Brunson was even more firm when talking about his longtime teammate, saying: “I would assume he’s play. It’s Game 7.”

Hart’s other ‘Nova Knicks’ teammate, Donte DiVincenzo, was asked his thoughts on the situation as well. Given Hart’s heart and hustle, many of his contributions go beyond the stat sheet. He’s a modern day glue guy, doing whatever is required and asked of him.

“Obviously, you never want to see anybody get hurt. But bro, it’s been our season,” admits a resigned DiVincenzo.

However, rather than charge full speed ahead by surmising that Hart will play, he has a more tempered mindset ahead of Game 7.

“…Whatever five’s on the court, we have a blueprint here,” DiVincenzo says. Expounding upon his answer, he tells reporters that “Thibs demands certain things from certain guys. You go out there, you compete your tails off, and you give yourselves a chance to win. So that’s our mindset.”

“Whether he goes or not, that’s our mindset,” relays the 2021 NBA champion.

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