In response, the Cavaliers have beefed up their frontcourt. One of them is the returning Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson, who played a key role in their 2016 championship run but is now just a reserve. Thompson was miffed when he was compared to Hart.
“Me and Josh Hart similarities with offensive rebounding? You should’ve used Pat Beverly as a comparison,” Thompson said via New York Post’s Stefan Bondy. “Me and Josh Hart-rebounding wise? No. That’s like a filet and a sirloin steak.”
Hart will have his opportunity to respond to Thompson’s shade when the Knicks and the Cavaliers play back-to-back beginning Tuesday.
Thompson has only appeared in one game for the Cavaliers this season, tallying five rebounds, four points and two assists against Indiana on October 28.
On the other hand, Hart had been a fixture in Knicks rotation. In their 1-2 start, Hart is averaging 4.7 points and 6.3 rebounds. He grabbed 10 rebounds against his former team New Orleans Pelicans last October 28.
Thompson’s focus will be on Robinson.
“[Robinson] put an imprint on that whole series with his activity and length by just playing hard and just controlling the paint and being on that rim,” Thompson told reporters. “So myself, Evan [Mobley], [Damian Jones], when we’re in there, we have to keep him off the glass. We can’t have him have easy rolls and easy dunks. We can’t have him [make an] impact on this game.”
Hart, meanwhile, will no longer just be wary of Donovan Mitchell. But he will also go up against Georges Niang and Dean Wade, the Cavaliers’ backup fours.
Tom Thibodeau Defends Julius Randle
After a phenomenal game against the Atlanta Hawks, Julius Randle played poorly in their 96-87 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans over the weekend.
Randle had a season-high eight turnovers, almost 50% of the Knicks’ total (19).
“It’s easier to think it’s Julius, but everyone has to work together,” Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said via New York Post. “If the outlets aren’t there, you’re a step behind, you’re a step slow. He needs to have three outlets when he’s being double-teamed. So, that’s something we can do better.”
It was a night and day for Randle, who nearly had a triple-double against only three turnovers the previous night in Atlanta. Randle had to regain his All-Star form that produced 17 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists against the Hawks in their looming back-to-back games against the Cavaliers.
Why Knicks Did Not Pull Trigger on Donovan Mitchell Trade
“You got to ask yourself if you’re going to [make that kind of trade], the other team that you’re trading with wants to take two-thirds or three-quarters of all your good young talent and all of your draft capital,” Perry said in the Hoop Genius podcast, ” is what is left behind going to be good enough for you to win or be better than what you are or if you just hold on to what you have and be a little patient?
“So that’s the thought process in that, and obviously, we made a push to trade for him, but it was gonna be done within reason,” Perry added.
The Utah Jazz shipped Mitchell instead to the Cavaliers for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029, and two pick swaps in 2026 and 2028.
The Knicks went on to beat Mitchell, making good on their bet.