One Stat Shows How Good Knicks’ Jalen Brunson Has Been

Jalen Brunson, Knicks, NBA

The New York Knicks had a golden opportunity to put pressure on the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference for the NBA Playoffs. But, they came up just short in contests against the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, suffering heartbreaking losses in each.

Instead of potentially being within a game of the Bucks, the Knicks are now in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They are a half-game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for third place and three games behind Milwaukee.

A big reason that the Knicks lost to the Spurs and Thunder was the lack of intensity on defense at points in the game. New York came out lackadaisical at the start against San Antonio, putting themselves in a massive hole. Against Oklahoma City, it was a rare late-game meltdown as the Knicks lost for only the third time after entering the fourth quarter with a lead.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Brunson, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks Updates

Alas, the overarching reason New York couldn’t put together a full 48 minutes was that the players were tired. They are logging a ton of minutes with Julius Randle, OG Anunoby and Mitchell Robinson out of the lineup.

The biggest issue coming out of that is the Knicks aren’t helping Jalen Brunson. The first time NBA All-Star has put the team on his back as the first, second and third option offensively when he is on the court.

Brunson has answered the call, putting together some magnificent scoring nights. Against the Spurs, he scored a career-high 61 points but it wasn’t enough to get the team a win. That is because New York is struggling to find answers without him on the court.

As shared by Tommy Beer on X, the Knicks outscored the Spurs and Thunder by 37 points in the 78 minutes Brunson played. However, in the 23 minutes he was on the bench, the Knicks were outscored by 42 points.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Brunson, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks Updates

Brunson has the highest plus/minus in the NBA over the last two games among players who had at least 33 minutes per game. Yet, New York is 0-2 in that span as his teammates aren’t getting the job done.

With comments shared by Josh Hart and some NBA insiders, it doesn’t sound like the Knicks will be getting reinforcements any time soon. This will remain the Brunson Show for the foreseeable future.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau needs to find a way to get more production out of his team when Brunson is on the bench. Shaking up the rotation could be an answer, as he cannot play Brunson 48 minutes in regular season games no matter how important they are to seeding for the NBA postseason.

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