Jalen Brunson is a big time player. He showed that in the New York Knicks’ 4-2 series win against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. He averaged 35.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists during that span, leading all scorers in the first round and finishing fourth in average assists. That included averaging over 40 points in the final four games of the series.

It looks like he’s not going to slow down anytime soon. 

Brunson started his second round series by having a scorching Game 1, where he finished with 43 points, six rebounds, six assists and a block in a tight 121-117 win over the Indiana Pacers. He shot 14 of 26 from the field and made all 14 free throw attempts as he completely dominated his heads-up matchup with Tyrese Haliburton. It was Brunson’s fourth-straight game of the playoffs scoring 40 or more.


Haliburton had a disappointing game with a quadruple-single of six points, two rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Even more surprisingly, he only took six shots, missing his only attempt inside the arc and going 2 of 5 from long range. Considering that Haliburton is being marketed as one of the league’s top rising stars, he’s going to have to step up and earn that reputation.

Although the Knicks still have to win three more games to advance to their first Eastern Conference Finals since the 1999-00 season, it certainly looks like they have a great chance considering how their lead man is playing. 

It will be interesting to see what adjustments the Pacers make to contain Brunson in Game 2. The Pacers will also have to find an answer for Josh Hart, who contributed a near triple-double of 24 points, 13 assists, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and a block while shooting 9 of 13 overall. Donte DiVincenzo also made 5 of 9 three-pointers on the way to 25 points.