Is Knicks’ star Jalen Brunson a legitimate MVP candidate?

NBA: Denver Nuggets at New York Knicks
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks G Jalen Brunson is enjoying the best season of his career. At the All-Star break, Brunson finishes the first half of the season with averages of 27.6 points and 6.5 assists per game, both career-highs, shooting 48% from the field and 41% from downtown, and being named to his first All-Star game. Brunson’s performance so far this season has him entering conversations for league MVP.

Jalen Brunson has been the catalyst to the Knicks’ success this season

His play has catapulted the Knicks to an impressive 33-22 record at the break, ranking fourth in the Eastern Conference. Brunson has kicked it up a notch in the month of February, averaging 33.7 points per game on a highly efficient 49.7% FG in six games this month.

Brunson’s increased shooting output has taken his game to a new level

Brunson’s increased three-point shooting volume has helped take his game to the next level. For the season, Brunson is averaging a career-high 6.5 3PA per game, and his 41% mark ties his career-high, which he set last season. His marksmanship this season earned him an invitation to the NBA Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend, where he was eliminated in the first round after scoring 24 points.

Brunson is firmly in the conversation for MVP

Brunson has now entered the fold as a potential MVP candidate as a result of his superb play. The latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook have Brunson’s odds of winning the hardware at +10000, tied for the sixth-best odds with Los Angeles Clippers F Kawhi Leonard. Although not ranked, Brunson was also mentioned in the latest Kia NBA MVP Ladder.

Brunson has proven the critics wrong in his Knicks career so far

While actually winning MVP feels like a long shot, the fact that Brunson is even in the conversation at all is notable. When he first signed with the Knicks in the summer of 2022, the move was met with criticism. Fast forward to 2024, and all those doubts are long gone, as Brunson has ascended to become one of the league’s premier talents, and in consideration for the association’s most prestigious hardware.

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