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Isaiah Hartenstein Is the NBA’s Most Underrated Center

Isaiah Hartenstein is making a case as the best backup center in the NBA.

Isaiah Hartenstein is the most underrated center in the NBA and makes the New York Knicks a plus when on the floor. His arrival as backup center to fellow defensive stud Mitchell Robinson brought a new dimension to the team’s bench unit. He has to be the most underrated part of the Knicks offense and is showing why he is the most underrated center in the NBA.

Isaiah Hartenstein Is Crucial New York Knicks Piece

Hartenstein’s defensive capabilities have been a catalyst for the Knicks’ bench. His ability to switch on forwards allows him to cover ground efficiently, challenging opponents’ shots at the rim. He strikes fear in players who look to drive and attempt dunks.
He displays the agility to switch onto smaller players when necessary, using his length to disrupt passing lanes. His defensive IQ contributes significantly to the Knicks’ ability to adapt to various offensive schemes. Hartenstein’s communication on the court has been pivotal, ensuring cohesion among teammates and maintaining great chemistry.
Hartenstein’s presence in the paint forces opponents to reconsider their shot selection, often leading to rushed or contested attempts. His defensive rating stands at 112, which puts him in the middle of the pack for solid defenders in the league. Along with this Hartenstein proves to be a +78 when on the court.

Why Hartenstein Is Heavily Underrated By NBA Media

Hartenstein’s intangible contributions are not the prettiest among the NBA’s great centers Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. However, his contagious defensive energy and relentless effort inspire his teammates. His work ethic and dedication to the defensive end of the floor serve as a catalyst for the team’s collective defensive mindset.
Hartenstein has been underrated by the media because of the centers he has played behind in his NBA career. Although he has backed up centers like Ivica Zubac and 2022-2023 Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, Hartenstein shines in filling the void those centers lack on the defensive end. A side of the ball that is criminally overlooked by the NBA media when discussing great NBA role players.

Strong Chemistry With Teammates

The synergy between Hartenstein and his teammates is a defining factor in the Knicks’ defensive success. Furthermore, his ability to cover his teammates’ weaknesses has created a cohesive defensive unit that operates seamlessly on the court. With the most recent addition of former All-Defensive wing OG Anunoby, Hartenstein will have a defensive partner to make his job easier.
The team chemistry expressed by Hartenstein is especially shown to his fellow big man, Mitchell Robinson. When Robinson went down in December, Hartenstein gave the MSG broadcast a look at the relationship they have.
“I talk to him every day…he always texts me after every game. That’s my guy. We miss him a lot. But he’s in a good spot. I just gotta hold it down til he comes back.”
In conclusion, Isaiah Hartenstein’s arrival helps the New York Knicks’ defense. His shot-blocking proficiency, defensive versatility, rebounding prowess, and intangible contributions elevate the team’s performance. His impact extends beyond the numbers. As he continues to anchor their defense with the loss of Mitchell Robinson for the season, Hartenstein remains a valuable role player for a Knicks team that needs a presence in the paint.


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