Knicks’ Jalen Brunson proving to be tier ‘1A player’ with recent Player of the Week award

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks G Jalen Brunson has picked up the pace with his play of late. The former Villanova product is in the midst of a career year in his second season with the Knicks, averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game, while boasting very impressive shooting splits of 47.2% FG/43.5% 3P/83.1% FT.

WNBA head coach says Jalen Brunson is “too small” to be the leader of a championship team

Last month, Becky Hammon, the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA, said in an episode of ESPN’s NBA Today, that Brunson is “too small” to be considered a “1A player” in the NBA, citing the lack of undersized guards who have historically been the best player on a championship team.

Brunson seems to have taken Hammon’s comments personally, stepping up his game to another level.

Brunson has taken his game to new heights since Hammon’s comments

In the nine games Brunson has played since Hammon’s comments, he is averaging 28.3 points, and 7.9 assists per game, while shooting 47.2% from the field and knocking down 36.7% of his three-pointers. This stretch also includes four 30-point games, two coming against the Milwaukee Bucks, one against the Chicago Bulls, and one against the Washington Wizards.

Knicks’ new addition has been beneficial to Brunson’s performance

The addition of OG Anunoby has also impacted Brunson’s game. In the four games since acquiring Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors, Brunson is averaging 27.3 points, and 9.3 assists per game, while also boasting an impressive plus-minus of +81 over that span as the Knicks are 4-0 since acquiring Anunoby.

Brunson’s efforts during that stretch also earned him Eastern Conference Player of the Week, his second Player of the Week nod of the season, and the third for the Knicks overall.

Brunson will look to continue his superb play on Tuesday, January 9th when the Knicks host the lowly Portland Trail Blazers. Given the level of the opponent, Brunson could be in for another big game, as he continues to make his case to be selected for his first career all-star game next month.

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