The New York Knicks are advancing to the second round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. They defeated one of their Eastern Conference rivals Philadelphia 76ers in a hard-fought series, 4-2, which featured plenty of cardiac finishes and fabulous performances.

While the Knicks are tilted to a more team-oriented attack, especially with their All-Star forward Julius Randle out for the season with a shoulder injury, there’s no question that this has become Jalen Brunson’s team, and that he is powering the offense in so many ways.

It’s interesting to look back at how he was once seen as yet another risky signing. Brunson, as you may remember, was poached by the Knicks from the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 off-season courtesy of a 4-year, $104 million deal. Two years in and he’s worth every penny.

The 27-year-old averaged 24.0 points per game in 2022-23 and led the Knicks to their first playoff series win in 10 years. Then, this 2023-24 campaign, he put up 28.7 PPG, tied with Carmelo Anthony for highest scoring average in a regular season since 1985.


You can even argue that he has a case for NBA MVP, but I digress.

Nevertheless, such an impact continued all the way into the first-round series with the Sixers. The manner in which he turned things around as something else, and showcased how resilient he can be in the face of pressure. He shot a woeful 16-of-55 through the first two games (2-of-12 from three), but was fortunately saved by his teammates and they were able to jump into a 2-0 lead. Knowing they were probably lucky more than anything to be in that position, and that he has to step up, he seemingly blacked out from there on out.

We always hear that as a scorer, one must have a short-term memory whenever things aren’t falling. That’s what he did – one play and clutch jumper after another. Here’s how he turned it up from Games 3 through 6:

In case you’re wondering, that’s 41.8 points and 10.3 assists per game on a fairly efficient 49% shooting. Such numbers can be taken for granted these days due to how fast-paced the game is, but Underdog NBA noted it as a first of its kind in the postseason in over 30 years. He’s in excellent company too. It’s also worth mentioning that Brunson’s 35.5 points per game is the the best of all players in the first round, and he’s also the third-best facilitator with nine assists per game.

It’s an exciting time for Knick fans everywhere. They have a go-to guy in Brunson who’s driven, sure of his game, and the full support of his teammates and coaching staff. We should see him continue piling up massive numbers in the postseason, especially in this upcoming conference semifinals matchup against the Indiana Pacers, a team that leads the league in pace.

As the second seed, Brunson and the Knicks will have homecourt advantage again, and are sure to keep the Madison Square Garden crowd rocking.