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Don’t look now, but the New York Knicks are BALLIN.
After crushing the cross-town rival Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday 142-118, the Knicks find themselves on a seven-game win streak and No. 5 in the Eastern Conference. They will look to continue that momentum when they face the Heat tonight and the Celtics on Sunday.
One of the main reasons why? Their acquisition of former Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson this past offseason. Brunson has risen from just a name to an absolute star in New York, averaging 23 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds.
Hell, even the outspoken Sir Charles Barkley himself couldn’t hold back praise for Brunson’s dominance.
BARKLEY WITH HIGH PRAISE
“Jalen Brunson is probably one of the best free agent pickups in NBA history,” Barkley said before changing it to “this year,” after facing some backlash from TNT’s Inside the NBA co-panelists Shaq and Kenny Smith.
“What he’s done this year is historical. We didn’t know Brunson was this good of a player. Nobody thought that. Everybody thought going into this season he got overpaid… Nobody said [last offseason] that Jalen Brunson was going to be a big time free agent.”
Barkley continued by insinuating that Brunson playing with one of the best in the game in Luka Doncic on the Mavs may have hindered his ability to shine, something that he’s clearly doing now with the Knicks.
It was just a year ago that CBS Sports gave the Knicks a D+ grade for signing Brunson.
Oh, there’s nothing sweeter than those old takes going terribly wrong.
The NBA named Brunson their KIA Player of the Month for February after he helped lead the team to an 8-2 record. (Games were limited because of the All-Star break)
THE KNICKS ARE 5TH IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Brunson has been able to do a fantastic job with Julius Randle, who is having one of his best career seasons, as well as RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and even Josh Hart, who is averaging more than 12 points per game.
Are they going to win an NBA Championship? Let’s be honest, probably not. But the fact that it’s March and people are even bringing up the Knicks in serious conversation is something many of their fans probably wouldn’t have expected. Sure they believed, but did they believe it’d be this good?
I mean the Knicks ACTUALLY did something good for once in a trade. Shocking!
If the Knicks can not only make the playoffs, but advance in the first-round, the offseason will be interesting. Suddenly the adage, “Nobody wants to play in New York for the Knicks,” will have a different tune – thanks to Jalen Brunson.