Knicks’ Jalen Brunson Leads NBA In This Wild Shooting Stat

Jalen Brunson, Knicks, NBA
Feb 10, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives to the basket while being defended by Indiana Pacers forward Obi Toppin (1) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is full of incredible athletes capable of doing things with a basketball most people can only dream of doing. Despite that, New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson has found a way to produce without possessing such advantages.

Brunson isn’t the biggest player, as he stands only 6’2”. He isn’t the most athletic player on the court by any means, but he can get to his spot on offense consistently. A big reason for that is his footwork and basketball IQ, as he evens the playing field with those two attributes.

Despite not being the biggest player on the court, Brunson has found a way to dominant where having size normally benefits a player; in the paint. Over his last 15 games, there hasn’t been a player in the NBA scoring more efficiently in that area than Brunson.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jalen Brunson & New York Knicks Updates

During that stretch, Brunson has made a ridiculous 64.8 percent of his shot attempts from between 5-9 feet away from the basket. He is using an array of short midrange jumpers and floaters to get his shot off around bigger, longer opponents.

As pointed out by NBA University on X, some players aren’t shooting that high of a percentage on dunks and layups at the rim. Alas, Brunson has made a living scoring in that area, manipulating the defense and getting in position to score.

Just how productive has Brunson been in the paint recently? As shared by Tommy Beer, he is lapping the field when it comes to field goals made from between 5-9 feet away. Over the last two months, he has a 20+ shots made lead on his closest competitors.

Brunson has made 78 field goals from that range on 60 percent shooting. Second on that list is Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat, who has made 58 field goals on 53 percent shooting. Third is two-time MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, who has made 52 field goals on 58 percent shooting.

https://twitter.com/TommyBeer/status/1757110397092368566

Adebayo and Jokic are both centers who thrive in the paint being nearly a foot taller than Brunson. Yet, it is the player who is 6’2” who is dominating in the paint, shooting a ridiculously efficient percentage from the field.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jalen Brunson & New York Knicks Updates

That isn’t even taking into account the number of free throw attempts Brunson is drawing when playing from those spots. On the season, Brunson is averaging 6.2 free throw attempts per game and making 5.2, for a healthy 84 percent.

In January and February, he has upped those numbers considerably. Brunson is 108-for-123, connecting on 87.8 percent of his free throws. He is averaging 6.8 free throws per game over that span and making 6.0.

That has helped buoy his scoring average despite a dip in 3-point percentage. With the Knicks’ being shorthanded, catch-and-shoot 3-pointers have all but dried up for Brunson, who is drawing 10 eyes from opponents every time New York is on offense. 

His 3-point percentage has steadily declined throughout the season with opponents keying in on and doing all they can to stop him. But, his points per game average is going up, as he is still finding ways to dominate, led by his excellent production shooting in the paint.

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