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Brunson is 1A? Yes, Brunson is a 1A.
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martin
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4/9/2024  10:08 AM
VDesai wrote:He's not only 1A he's one of the 5 or 10 best 1A's in the NBA so he's like 1AAA.

Obviously I/we have a bias, but this guy is a true fortune changer. Not just an amazing scorer, leader, playmaker. Too bad SGA made that gamewinner and Brunson didn't answer as that would've changed the national narrative a bit.

Yeah, he is right on that cusp. I think next year will open the flood gates.

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Nalod
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4/9/2024  10:42 AM
SGA has little national exposure for his talent. He is respected by his stats and media, but Jalen is really catching up.
Olympic team if included won't hurt.
As for American PG's, not many ahead of him if any. SGA is canadian. Morant is likely not going to get the invite this go around?
Could be fun to see Rokas play.
martin
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4/9/2024  11:50 AM
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fishmike
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4/9/2024  1:16 PM
martin wrote:
This has been Thib's calling since being here. Letting guys be themselves. He just demands you defend and be the BEST version of yourself possible. At some point folks will start to acknowledge this coaching staff's ability to not only improve the play of some of these guys but the Xs and Os as well.

They are throwing everything at Brunson and our 2nd half adjustments are there. We keep attacking the soft spaces and it leads to our 2nd and 3rd and 4th scorers having a big night any might. Josh Hart and his triple doubles says it all. DD dropping 30, McBride dropping 20, IHart hitting 7/8

Thibs: "we got guys who can do things"

Phuck an A we do

"winning is more fun... then fun is fun" -Thibs
Nalod
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4/9/2024  1:44 PM
fishmike wrote:
martin wrote:
This has been Thib's calling since being here. Letting guys be themselves. He just demands you defend and be the BEST version of yourself possible. At some point folks will start to acknowledge this coaching staff's ability to not only improve the play of some of these guys but the Xs and Os as well.

They are throwing everything at Brunson and our 2nd half adjustments are there. We keep attacking the soft spaces and it leads to our 2nd and 3rd and 4th scorers having a big night any might. Josh Hart and his triple doubles says it all. DD dropping 30, McBride dropping 20, IHart hitting 7/8

Thibs: "we got guys who can do things"

Phuck an A we do

Johnny Bryant is "the guard whipserer" and also has to be given credit for JB's, DDV, IQ, Deuce and Grimes improvements. Granted, Im sure other coaches would have also done good work with talented kids that work hard. I hope we don't lose him but at the end of the day good guys get promoted and perhaps we have others lined up to do even better? I don't anticipate Thibs walking away after next season.

martin
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4/9/2024  10:49 PM
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martin
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4/9/2024  10:50 PM
martin wrote:

And lots of those games without Randle and OG

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joec32033
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4/10/2024  12:15 AM
martin wrote:
martin wrote:

And lots of those games without Randle and OG


Meanwhile:

~You can't run from who you are.~
EwingPSD
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4/10/2024  8:47 AM
She makes a point. You guys just hate women
SergioNYK
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4/10/2024  9:34 AM
Brunson is the 4th best player in the entire league this year only behind Jokic, Luka and SGA idgaf.
martin
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4/10/2024  10:08 AM
If he could do this while shooting 40/50/90 and 10 assists he'd be OK

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Panos
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4/10/2024  10:25 AM    LAST EDITED: 4/10/2024  10:26 AM
joec32033 wrote:
martin wrote:
martin wrote:

And lots of those games without Randle and OG

Why does Steph only "sorta count", Candice? Because he ****s up your whole argument? You think you can eliminate the fact by calling it an "anomaly"?
The fact that Curry won multiple championships relegates her argument to the trash bin.
I'm not even arguing that Brunson can or cannot win a championship. Just that her opinion on small players is worthless.

DLeethal
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4/10/2024  10:36 AM
We are in a different league than we have ever seen. There is so much parity, new champions every year. This has never happened in the modern era. So it makes Candace's argument stupid IMO. Dynasty's have dominated the landscape since the 80s. 2-3 different champions per decade, dominated by a short list of all time greats, with like 2-3 one-off outliers sprinkled in over the course of 35 years (Pistons, 08 Celtics, Mavs).

Bird, Magic, Isaiah, Jordan, Hakeem, Duncan, Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, Wade, Steph. Basically 11 guys dominated the landscape for 35 years. 2 smaller PGs, 3 bigger guards, 3 bigger forwards (including Magic here with LBJ and Bird), 3 bigs.

Her argument is stupid and today with no dynasty's and more parity then ever, you can 100% win around small guards. The Iverson argument when he went up against a much better TEAM and the CP3 argument when his prime years were spent with David West and Tyson are also stupid. The best team will win and Brunson is more than capable enough to lead the best team.

fishmike
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4/10/2024  10:41 AM
Becky and Candace are literally Stephen A Smith with tits. None of them watch and if they do it's not very closely. Brunson's playoff #s are also in line with his 1A regular season stats.
"winning is more fun... then fun is fun" -Thibs
Nalod
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4/10/2024  10:44 AM
SergioNYK wrote:Brunson is the 4th best player in the entire league this year only behind Jokic, Luka and SGA idgaf.

and they are talking about getting your team to the finals and winning a chip.
Thats all they are saying.
Nobody saying small guards are not great. Nash, a two time MVP could not get them into finals.
Iverson did not win a chip. They are saying with few exceptions if your best player is 6 foot tall, chips are unlikely. Thats not hate. Its a bonafide opinion. Not a prediction. In context was those statements the only thing they said about Brunson? I doubt it.
He is doing great. nobody is denying that. Knicks won't hang 50 wins. He'll get MVP love and all NBA love. Those quotes are also a few months old now. In less than two seasons Jalen went from "over paid free agent" to "All NBA/Allstear". He put up 61 on SAS and we lost the game. Nobody said he played poorly or it was his fault.

Nalod
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4/10/2024  10:47 AM
SergioNYK wrote:Brunson is the 4th best player in the entire league this year only behind Jokic, Luka and SGA idgaf.

OK. in year two he is not quite Stockton or Iverson. They got their teams to the finals.
One might say Malone was the best player on Utah?
Iverson had a hell of a run to the finals.
Maybe Jalen does it also? If not they are correct.
What was the question they are answering? Not like they called a press conference to diss Jalen.
DLeethal
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4/10/2024  11:25 AM
Nalod wrote:
SergioNYK wrote:Brunson is the 4th best player in the entire league this year only behind Jokic, Luka and SGA idgaf.

and they are talking about getting your team to the finals and winning a chip.
Thats all they are saying.
Nobody saying small guards are not great. Nash, a two time MVP could not get them into finals.
Iverson did not win a chip. They are saying with few exceptions if your best player is 6 foot tall, chips are unlikely. Thats not hate. Its a bonafide opinion. Not a prediction. In context was those statements the only thing they said about Brunson? I doubt it.
He is doing great. nobody is denying that. Knicks won't hang 50 wins. He'll get MVP love and all NBA love. Those quotes are also a few months old now. In less than two seasons Jalen went from "over paid free agent" to "All NBA/Allstear". He put up 61 on SAS and we lost the game. Nobody said he played poorly or it was his fault.

There were plenty of star wings and star bigs that lost to Duncan's Spurs too.

martin
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4/10/2024  1:22 PM
Great read


How Jalen Brunson’s constant movement is a staple for the Knicks offense
Fred Katz


CHICAGO — Jalen Brunson had chosen the wrong night to hang a zero.

A decade ago with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo in the stands, Brunson was scoreless heading into halftime of a high school game. Izzo, a Hall of Famer, had traveled just to see the budding prospect in person. This could have been Brunson’s moment.

For the first two quarters, it was not. But when a future NBA star competes against everyday kids, kerosine can always drip onto the fire.

Come the third quarter, Brunson began to roast helpless defenders off the dribble. He splashed in shot after shot, an onslaught that concluded with a comeback victory. But the ending was not so celebratory. To one person, Brunson might as well have gone without a basket in the second half, too.

Brunson’s father, Rick, a former NBA player who is now an assistant coach with the New York Knicks, accused his son of not playing the right way — and he didn’t hold back.

“My dad said I was point chasing,” Jalen said. “And he ripped me a new one in front of Tom Izzo.”

Izzo viewed the exchange, heard the four-letter words that were hardly whispered and went to Brunson’s family. “I want him,” he told them — and it wasn’t just because he had witnessed Brunson dominate the second half. The point guard took a tongue lashing from his father and didn’t say a word in response. Instead, he absorbed the lesson. Izzo was impressed.

To this day, Jalen insists he was not playing selfishly in that game. Of course, receiving discipline instead of praise after impressive wins could explain why the man who currently sits fourth in the NBA in points per game is more than just a scorer.

Every so often, when it was up for debate whether Brunson was playing for himself or his team, someone was around to remind him that this sport is not just one-on-one.

Now, Brunson takes that mentality to the extreme.

Brunson is the Knicks’ engine. NBA defenses hound him each time he plays. They throw lanky, athletic defenders at him. They double-team him. Ten eyes lock into every one of his movements. All he’s done, as the Knicks have sustained injury after injury, is score more. And it’s not because he’s dancing with himself like Dad alleged all those years ago.

When a double-team comes, Brunson gives up the basketball quickly, as The Athletic detailed last week. But a defense can’t stop then. As soon as the ball brushes off his fingertips, Brunson hurries somewhere else. Once he does, he has various moves in his pocket.

He back-cuts traps and gallops around screens and dribble handoffs. When his defender looks elsewhere, even if it’s for a split second, he relocates. He is exhausting to chase around the court. And now, Brunson’s constant movement is a staple inside the Knicks offense.

Brunson went for 45 points in Tuesday night’s 128-117 win over the Chicago Bulls, which vaulted the Knicks (47-32) to third place in the Eastern Conference. It’s his 10th 40-point game of 2023-24, the third-most for a single season in franchise history. He did it with an all-defensive pest, Alex Caruso, manning him for much of the evening.

The Bulls dreamed of keeping the basketball away from Brunson, a task normally fit for Caruso. But peer away, even for an instant, and Brunson notices it, such as in the play below.

With the Knicks holding a six-point, fourth-quarter lead, Isaiah Hartenstein treks to the right wing with his back to the basket, hoping either Brunson or OG Anunoby curls around him for a dribble handoff. The floor is scrunched, and the play could have busted because of it. But Anunoby darts in Hartenstein’s direction, and once Caruso turns his head to note Anunoby, Brunson bolts to the corner.

That fraction of a second is long enough for Brunson to escape for a 3.

Brunson credits his concentration for these types of reads. He’s so locked into his defender, into Hartenstein, that he can detect when someone loses him, no matter how subtle.

“When it’s time to win, you got no other choice,” he said.

But the choices Brunson and the Knicks have made, especially over the past few months, have stood out — and not just because of these extra-effort plays that generate open looks against even the best defenders. Brunson has never relied this much on moving without the ball. And why it’s occurring now is no coincidence.

There is a clear marker: Jan. 29. That was the first time the Knicks played after Julius Randle suffered the dislocated shoulder that would eventually end his season. It was then that Brunson’s style fundamentally changed.

With Randle gone, defenses could key in on Brunson with a gusto they hadn’t before. Getting open would not be as easy as it once was for the 27-year-old.

So when defenses trap Brunson, New York head coach Tom Thibodeau encourages him to give up the basketball quickly and then free himself without the rock. Since the Randle injury, the Knicks have run him around more off-ball screens than ever. Brunson uses dribble handoffs nearly twice as often.

“It started working,” Brunson said. “And then we said, ‘F— it, let’s keep doing it.’ ”

They haven’t stopped.

Brunson is running around 25.3 off-ball screens per 100 possessions in the 33 games since the Randle injury, compared to just 7.1 in the 46 before it, according to information tracked by Second Spectrum. He’s navigating 13.7 dribble handoffs per 100 post-Randle injury, nearly doubling his previous average of 8.4.

“He’s just thirsty to get the ball so he can shoot,” said Josh Hart, Brunson’s longtime teammate who notoriously refuses to credit his buddy for anything positive.

But Hart, just like anyone else on the court, benefits from the new Brunson effect.

“Sometimes the defense messes up communication, and they leave someone open for a shot or a cut or something like that,” he said.

Such is the effect of a feared scorer pinballing around the court.

Over this time without Randle, the Knicks are at their best when Brunson is at his. The point guard is averaging 31.1 points since the Randle injury and is maintaining his efficiency numbers in the process.

Meanwhile, the Knicks are scoring 121.5 points per 100 possessions when he’s in the game during this time, nearly 20 points per 100 better than when he’s on the bench.

No longer is Brunson’s gravity just about pulling two defenders to the ball. He’s attracting attention without it in a way he hasn’t before.

When Brunson comes around a screen, no one, including the point guard himself, knows where he is going. It depends on how the defender reacts.

“If he’s off you, you’re probably gonna flare,” Brunson said. “If he’s trailing you, you probably wanna curl. But you wanna, first and foremost, see where the ball is and see where your teammate is passing from.”

If he reads the defense well enough, Brunson may not even need to touch the basketball to create a bucket for one of his teammates.

That’s when Hart gets an open layup. Or Anunoby notices space to cut. Or Donte DiVincenzo finds an open 3.

Most point guards who are as skilled with the basketball as Brunson is don’t adopt this style. Many of the best grow up annihilating lesser talent, a trend that can continue into college and, if the player is great enough, to the pros. In those cases, there may not be any urgency to learn how to wreak havoc running around screens.

“A lot of guys of his stature that always have the ball, for him to be able to relocate and move without the ball it just shows his high IQ for the game,” Bulls guard Coby White said. “He gets himself easy opportunities, like catch-and-shoot 3s.”

But Brunson’s comeuppance, even if it has led him to All-Star status and a probable All-NBA appearance, has been anything but usual.

As a freshman at Villanova, he was a role player. By his sophomore year, he could handle more but still had to play away from the ball. His rise with the Dallas Mavericks included figuring out how to run alongside perennial MVP candidate Luka Dončić, a deserving offensive hub.

Brunson developed many of those relocation quirks, such as the one he pulled Tuesday on Caruso, but he wasn’t running track meets like he is now.

Since the Randle injury, only three qualifying NBA players are scampering around more dribble handoffs, per Second Spectrum. Only five are traversing more off-ball screens. The guy directly ahead of him is the only other All-Star point guard on the list: Stephen Curry.

Many of the actions the Knicks run for Brunson are imitations of the ones the Golden State Warriors deploy for Curry.

“We’re just trying to find ways to get the easiest looks,” Hartenstein said. “Him moving without the ball I think has been great.”

It’s not normal for a point guard to run this many pick-and-rolls, this many isolations and involve himself in this many off-ball actions. But the Knicks offense goes as Brunson does.

When he’s on the court, they score nonstop. When he’s on the bench, they struggle. They know involving Brunson means giving themselves a chance. And thus, they do whatever they can to get him the basketball — and he is buying into all of it.

“When you talk about his development and who he is, you’re talking about great concentration,” Thibodeau said. “You’re talking about maximum effort. You’re talking about good judgment. His foundation is so solid because it’s built on fundamentals, so there’s a counter for everything.”

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martin
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4/10/2024  1:33 PM
Official sponsor of the PURE KNICKS LOVE Program
martin
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4/10/2024  1:33 PM

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Brunson is 1A? Yes, Brunson is a 1A.

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