Knicks 1-2 punch Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle fall to Donovan Mitchell anew in NBA Player of the Week race

Julius Randle, Donovan Mitchell, New York Knicks

For the second time in two months, the New York Knicks 1-2 punch Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle fell short of winning the NBA Player of the Week award.

In both times, the award went to Donovan Mitchell, the Cleveland Cavaliers star and the Knicks’ trade target last summer. Mitchell first beat the Knicks duo in Week 9 (games played from Dec. 12-18, 2022).

The sixth-year guard led the Cavaliers to a 3-1 record while averaging an Eastern Conference-best 37.7 points, 7.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 38.7 minutes.

Over the same span, Brunson and Randle powered the Knicks to a perfect 3-0 week, part of their current five-game winning streak.

Brunson averaged 29.3 points, 6.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep. Randle put up a monster double-double in each of those three wins, averaging 28.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists, with 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks. But he only shot 39.4 percent from the field, the only black eye to an otherwise complete all-around performance.

Other nominees in the East were Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, who the Knicks will face Monday night at the Garden, Orlando Magic’s sensational rookie Paolo Banchero, Brooklyn Nets’ injured star Kevin Durant, Indiana Pacers’ duo of Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner and Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine.

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