Knicks’ Jalen Brunson Had Historic End To 2023-24 Season

Jalen Brunson, Knicks, NBA
Apr 14, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) holds onto the ball after grabbing a rebound in overtime against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

What New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson was able to accomplish during the 2023-24 NBA regular season was truly special. He led the Knicks to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, as they were the only team other than the Boston Celtics to reach the 50-win plateau.

What made that accomplishment such an impressive one was that Brunson carried the load for nearly half of the season by himself. The role players on the team stepped up big time as well, but Brunson was the conductor on the Knicks train.

Fellow NBA All-Star and All-NBA forward Julius Randle played in only 46 games as a shoulder injury suffered on January 27th ended his season. OG Anunoby played in only 23 out of a possible 49 games since being acquired from the Toronto Raptors ahead of the New Year. Mitchell Robinson played in only 31 games and Isaiah Hartenstein has been on a minutes limit for weeks.

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

Despite all of that, the Knicks were able to not only stay afloat but excel with Brunson playing at an MVP level. Over the last 10 games of the season, with New York’s playoff future hanging in the balance, Brunson took his performance to another level.

Given how congested the standings were, one extended slump could have resulted in the Knicks losing out on homecourt advantage or even slipping into the NBA Play-In Tournament. Alas, Brunson would not allow that to happen, as he had a historic finish to the season.

As shared by Tommy Beer on X, Brunson averaged 37.8 points and 8.3 assists over the final 10 games of the regular season. He was extremely efficient with a shooting split of 49/40/86 percent.

According to Basketball-Reference, via Beer, there have been only five players in NBA history to average at least 37 points over the final 10 games of a regular season before Brunson; Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Nate Archibald, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jordan did it twice in 1987 and 1988.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jalen Brunson & New York Knicks Update

That is some elite company that Brunson is holding, as he has made plenty of NBA history during this campaign. However, he is in a league of his own as no other player has averaged 8+ assists and 3+ rebounds over the final 10 games to go along with the 37+ points.

Over the last 50 seasons, Jordan and Bryant were the only players to score 375+ points over the final 10 games of the season before Brunson did it this year. When you add in having a true shooting percentage of at least 60 percent, the list mentioned before includes only Jordan, Chamberlain and Brunson.

We have witnessed one of the most dominant stretches of offensive production in NBA history and it could not have come at a more opportune time. The Knicks are heading into the postseason with homecourt advantage in the first two rounds thanks largely to Brunson’s herculean effort to close out the season.

Alas, none of that will matter unless Brunson can continue playing at a high level in the NBA Playoffs. All he cares about is winning basketball games. The regular season success and accolades are great, but stacking wins in the postseason is where it matters the most.

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