Josh Hart would ‘love’ for Knicks, Rangers to take on Boston rivals next round

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INDIANAPOLIS — Josh Hart is one of the Knicks who constantly reps and supports the Rangers, even wearing a No. 10 Artemi Panarin jersey to and from one NBA playoff game last week.

The versatile wing said he was “sorry to say” he didn’t watch the Rangers’ comeback victory Thursday night to close out the Hurricanes, but Hart was hoping the Knicks would join the Blueshirts as Garden teams to reach their respective conference finals with the first of two chances to vanquish the Pacers beginning Friday night.

“I saw they were down 3-1 after the second intermission and I was like ‘Oh, man, New York is not going to be happy about that,’” Hart said after the Knicks’ morning shootaround ahead Game 6 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. “I was watching the Minnesota game [against the Nuggets] and then I looked to see how [the Rangers] did, and they scored four goals in that last period.

Josh Hart is hoping to get the Knicks to the Eastern Conference Finals. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“It was great for the fans and great for the city. To have a team get to the conference finals, hopefully they can keep pushing.”

The Knicks carried a 3-2 lead into Game 6 against the Pacers, just as they did before closing out the 76ers on the road in the first round.

The Rangers’ victory behind a third-period hat trick from Chris Kreider, kept the vibes 30 years after 1994 — when the Blueshirts won the Stanley Cup and the Knicks reached the NBA Finals — going.

Chris Kreider led the Rangers to a second-round series victory. JASON SZENES FOR THE NEW YORK POST

“I’m glad that they finished it out,” Knicks guard Miles McBride said of the Rangers. “We see those guys around the facility a little bit and, you know, we’re always telling each other good luck and, you know, just go get it done. So it’s good to see that they’re having success.”

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The top-seeded Celtics await the winner of the Knicks-Pacers series, while the No. 1 Rangers will face either Boston or Florida in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals.

The Bruins trailed that series 3-2, entering Game 6 Friday night, but there still was a possibility of two series between New York and Boston next week.

Boston Celtics center Al Horford dunks against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Boston. The Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. AP

“Have I thought about it? Yeah, you think about it and you think about having an Eastern Conference Finals, NBA and NHL,” Hart said. “New York and Boston, that’s cool. That’s something we would love to do.

“At the end of the day, we just have to focus on ourselves. I mean, that’s not an easy team [in the Pacers]. It’s not a team that’s going to get down 3-2 and lay down and call it a season. So we have to handle our business. If something like that happens, it will be great for the city of New York and also the city of Boston to have that little rivalry going.”

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