Isaiah Hartenstein Set to Achieve Rare Knicks Feat

Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks

Getty Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks


ew York Knicks backup big man Isaiah Hartenstein is set to become the only 16th player in franchise history since the 1999-2000 season to play all 82 regular-season games.

Hartenstein emerged as the unlikely Ironman after being slowed down by a nagging Achilles pain at the start of the season. He credited the team’s medical and training staff as he’s on the cusp of achieving a rare feat in today’s era of load management. The 82-game feat has not been done in New York since Justin Holiday during the 2016-17 season.

“I’m sure I did the right stuff to build Achilles back up, and then now play 82 games. It’s something special, but you also got to thank all the people around us on training staff, strength coaches, and everybody who’s just making sure my body can hold those 80 games,” Hartenstein said.

This also marks the first time the 24-year-old center will play all regular-season games. He has not played more than 68 games until this season.

“We have a lot of guys who have played significant amount of games. Isaiah will have a chance to play 82 games. Credit to him,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said after Friday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

“But then the important thing is to learn from this game and get ready for the last one and then after [that] we can talk about the other stuff that’s coming.”

Hartenstein is coming off a scoreless game in his eighth start this season. He battled foul trouble to dish out five assists, one short of his season high.

The Knicks have not officially ruled out starting center Mitchell Robinson yet as of this writing. But if he rests again, Hartenstein will start anew against Indiana Pacers in their season finale on Sunday.

“I just think dependability is such a big part of this league,” Thibodeau said. “You want to be able to depend on people and I think that’s important for the team to grow.”

Thibodeau thought their All-Star forward Julius Randle would have joined Hartenstein if he did not suffer a sprained left ankle.

“Julius would’ve been there, if he didn’t get a sprained ankle, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Injuries are part of the game,” Thibodeau added. “But guys being in shape and handling the intricacies of the game, it says a lot when someone does that.”

No Carmelo Anthony-Knicks Reunion

With the uncertainty surrounding Randle’s availability and with a roster spot open, rumors swirled around the weekend that the Knicks are considering Carmelo Anthony to bolster their power forward depth.

Only Obi Toppin is the only natural power forward left on the roster.

Fred Katz of The Athletic quickly shut down the rumor.

Randle is expected to be re-evaluated next week.

NBA Investigates Mavs for Tanking

The Dallas Mavericks, who owes Knicks a top-10 protected pick, is under investigation for their blatant tanking during a 115-112 loss to the Chicago Bulls that eliminated from play-in contention.

“The NBA commenced an investigation today into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Dallas Mavericks’ roster decisions and game conduct with respect to last night’s Chicago Bulls-Mavericks game, including the motivations behind those actions,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement.

Read More