Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau on Jalen Brunson’s historic season: ‘It’s big play after big play’

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau with guard Jalen Brunson (11) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Brunson has a great case to become the first New York Knicks point guard to make an All-NBA team since Walt Frazier, according to the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy. Saturday’s win over the Sacramento Kings was the pinnacle of his season, as he scored 42 points on 17-28 shooting (5-10 from three) to get the Knicks to the 40-win mark on the season.

This was the second consecutive game Brunson scored at least 40 points, the first Knick to do so since Carmelo Anthony in 2014, and is only the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish such a feat, according to the Knicks PR staff on X.

Brunson has established himself as a top guard in the East

Over the past week, he has outplayed a pair of All-Star guards in Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey and Kings’ De’Aaron Fox. These efforts stand out as statement games for Brunson and the Knicks at this point in the season, and almost certainly lock Brunson into an All-NBA team selection, barring any late-season injury.

Brunson has elevated himself into arguably the best point guard in the Eastern Conference, as he has seven 40-point games this season, which is more than some of the game’s top scorers including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Damian Lillard.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke highly about Brunson’s season after the win in Sacramento.

“You almost come to expect what Jalen did,” said Thibodeau via the New York Post. “It’s every night and it’s big play after big play.”

Brunson’s hot streak comes at the right time for the Knicks

His recent hot stretch comes at a great time for the Knicks, as they just got OG Anunoby back from elbow surgery and Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson are close to returning as well. New York is 15-2 in games Anunoby plays in this season.

The Knicks are 2-0 thus far into their West Coast trip and have two more forthcoming against the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets before heading back home. With 15 games remaining in the regular season, the third seed is within striking distance, as they are currently just two games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for that spot. New York also owns the tiebreaker between the two.

If Brunson continues to dominate games as he has of late, the Knicks could find themselves in a great position for the stretch run and a potentially deep playoff run in 2024.

Follow this writer on X: @DylanBacker_

Mentioned in this article:

More about: