After pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds in a win against the Brooklyn Nets, Josh Hart said he channeled his inner-Charles Barkley. It was the first of what’s now three consecutive games Los Angeles Lakers head coach has started Hart.
Following the rookie’s performance on Tuesday night, it might be reasonable to expect Hart to remain a starter. He also does not need to find the words to explain his impressive work on the glass.
“We call him Charles Barkley,” Julius Randle said after the Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns to extend their winning streak to three games. “He’s great, especially from that guard position. Then coming in and helping the bigs gets boards. He’s huge for us.”
As Hart began his postgame interview with media, Jordan Clarkson interjected: “Josh Barkley!”
Before the game, Walton commended Hart for the “toughness” and team-first mindset he’s brought to the starring lineup. “He’s earned his minutes and opportunities,” Walton added.
The second-year coach heaped more praise on Hart after he produced a third consecutive double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. “I remember Brian Shaw telling me when we were watching our Summer League training camp, ‘Josh and Zo are incredible rebounders from that guard spot,'” Walton recalled.
“You never know what it’s going to translate to the pros when you’re talking about these grown men you’re playing against, but obviously with him, the way he goes after those balls, he’s a very, very good rebounder. He’s definitely one of our team’s best rebounders.”
In the three games since being inserted into the lineup, Hart has scored a combined 44 points and pulled down 36 rebounds. “I’m just trying to give the team energy on the glass and defensive end,” Hart said.
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