Brunson leads the way for New York.
The New York Knicks lost their 2023-2024 NBA regular season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers 105-113 on Thursday (Nov. 4) at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
New York, which was without Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, was unable to overcome their absence and suffered the loss at home. 안전 토토사이트 The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak.
Still, Jaylen Brunson‘s performance was a standout. Playing a grueling 45 minutes, Brunson scored 36 points and dished out 10 assists. With Randle and Anunoby out, the defense focused more on Brunson, but his performance was not easily controlled.
Brunson, a second-round pick out of Villanova University, didn’t get a lot of attention early in his career. But he worked his way up through the ranks, mostly off the bench, and by his fourth season in Dallas, he was a regular starter.
His playoff performance in the 2021-2022 season was particularly impressive. In the absence of Luka Doncic, he stepped in as the team’s number one option. It was during the playoffs that he really made his mark on NBA fans.
This performance earned Brunson a massive four-year, $100 million contract with New York in free agency in the summer of 2022. The contract was widely criticized as an overpayment. This is because Brunson hasn’t been a key player on the team for very long.
However, Brunson’s contract was far from an overpayment, but rather a model free agent signing. He averaged 24.0 points and 6.2 assists last season, forming a one-two punch with Randle and helping the team return to the playoffs. New York capitalized on Brunson’s acquisition, reaching the second round for the first time in a decade.
This season, he’s been even better. Averaging 27.3 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds, Brunson has clearly established himself as the ace in the hole for New York fans at Madison Square Garden. He shoots 48.1% from the field and 41.3% from three-point range, so it’s not just volume, but also efficiency.
The momentum carried him to the recently announced All-Star reserve list, where he booked his first All-Star Game appearance. Shortly after the announcement, he was moved to tears by the fans’ MVP chants after leading his team to a 40-point victory over Indiana.
Brunson is a three-level scorer who excels at attacking the rim, playing the mid-range game, and shooting the three-point shot. He’s a very difficult player for opponents to defend. The King of the Lakers, LeBron James, also spoke highly of Brunson.
“Jaylen Brunson has been playing at an All-Star level this season. We know he’s the most important player on the other team. We just tried to wear him down and get rebounds for the entire fourth quarter.”
“Brunson has come up big in the fourth quarter in a lot of games already this season and wore them down, so in order to stop him, you have to have multiple players pressuring him and keep switching defenses. I think that helped us a lot.”
While the game snapped a three-game winning streak, Brunson’s performance propelled New York to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a spot that would have earned them the top seed. Based on his recent performances, Brunson is on pace to earn a spot on the All-NBA team while helping the team secure the top seed.