Knicks guard Josh Hart brings the ball up during the...

Knicks guard Josh Hart brings the ball up during the first half of the team's NBA game against Golden State at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Credit: AP/Peter K. Afriyie

Through all the trades and injuries and losses of the past month, one Knicks player has shown some big-time growth.

Josh Hart has dedicated himself to doing whatever needs to be done to keep the Knicks in a game. Always a tough defender, Hart has been a force on the boards, has gotten his teammates involved and — perhaps most importantly — has fixed his jump shot, which was so erratic earlier in the season.

What’s more, he’s done all this while playing major minutes. In the Knicks’ loss to Golden State on Thursday, he played 47:10. In six of the team’s last seven games, he has played at least 40 minutes.

“I’m always talking to him. He’s handled it well,” coach Tom Thibodeau said when asked about Hart’s minutes after the Golden State game. “Obviously, we’re shorthanded right now, so that’s what’s required. But 18 rebounds, seven assists? He’s a great defender, so we need him right now.”

Hart is a prolific rebounder for a player listed at 6-4, and that gives Thibodeau a lot of flexibility when an opponent goes small. In grabbing 18 rebounds Thursday, Hart broke a rather obscure but telling Knicks record. He has 18 games with double-digit rebounds, passing Walt Frazier’s single-season club record for players 6-4 and under set in 1968-69.

While Knicks fans were having a field day on X on Thursday, criticizing Thibodeau for leaving Hart in for too long when the team already has three of its starters out with injuries, Hart said he can deal with the minutes.

“As a competitor, I want to play,” he said. “If I went out, especially if we were making a run and I got out, I’m mad. You know what I mean. I want to play as much as I can.”

Hart also has made some corrections in his game that help the Knicks feel comfortable keeping him on the floor for major minutes.

Before the All-Star break, Hart was shooting 30.9% from three-point range and even declared on his Roommates Podcast with Jalen Brunson that his jumper was broken. That spurred him to get into the gym during the break. In the five games since, he is shooting 39.3% from outside the arc.

“Normally, I let my body rest and don’t do anything,” Hart said of his routine during the All-Star break. “This one, I was in the gym every day, trying to get back to basics. Then, when I got out there, [I can] not think and shoot with confidence. If teams are going to play off me, I’ve got to be confident and take and make shots.”

Hart said he felt he was letting the team down earlier in the season, especially considering he made 51.9% of his three-pointers in his 25 games as a Knick last season. Hart said he made some small tweaks in his form, but the improvement is basically a result of repetition and renewed confidence.

That work ethic has earned him a green light from his coach.

Said Thibodeau: “He’s put in a lot of work. I say it to all our guys. I see what you do before practice, in practice, then after practice, and as long as you’re working on your shots, if you’re open, I want you to let it go.”

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