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Knicks’ Jalen Brunson Joins Elite NBA Group With Another 40-Point Performance

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Highlights

  • Brunson has joined an elite list of NBA legends with five 40-point playoff games in one postseason.
  • Despite facing extreme defensive pressure, Brunson’s diverse scoring abilities make him a standout player.
  • Brunson’s performance elevates him to one of the best current players while also cementing his place among the elite NBA point guards.


It’s no secret that Jalen Brunson has exceeded the wildest dreams of even optimistic New York Knicks fans in his two seasons with the franchise. A player that was once seen as a middling floor general point-guard despite an excellent college resume and some nice moments with the Dallas Mavericks has now emerged as one of the very best players in the NBA.

Not only has Brunson validated his contract (which is arguably the best in modern NBA history), but he is now the driving force behind a team one win away from their first Conference Final in 24 years. Brunson has been given extremely tough circumstances with injuries to several of New York’s best players, but has taken advantage of the opportunity in a big way.

No player in these playoffs has had to deal with this heavy of an offensive load, but Brunson has passed the test with flying colors and has his squad one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. What he has accomplished so far has been nothing short of spectacular.


His 44-point masterpiece in New York’s Game 5 victory over the Indiana Pacers was a perfect example of Brunson’s elevation into elite NBA company. He is now scoring at such a level that his name is being mentioned among some of the game’s all-time legends.


Brunson Is Scoring at a Rate That Only All-Time Greats Have

NY’s star point guard joins Jordan, LeBron, and others with his scoring dominance

With Brunson’s latest 40-point explosion in the 2024 Playoffs, he has joined an exclusive group of NBA legends who have logged at least five such games in one postseason. The list of 11 players features Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, and many of the top 20 players of all-time.


New York’s superstar has been forced into the role as the only primary ball-handler on the entire roster with the injuries to Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. This has required Brunson to be the offensive initiator for nearly every Knicks’ possession, allowing the opponent to focus all of their attention on him.

The Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers threw a variety of defensive coverages at Brunson, but he was able to solve every single one to the tune of historic scoring production. His opponents have straight double-teamed him, blitzed every ball-screen, and sent help every time he gets into the paint, but Brunson has found an open shot nearly every time down the floor.

What allows Brunson to thrive even under the most dire of circumstances is the variety in his game, both as a scorer and passer. As a true pass-first point-guard growing up, he has mastered all the reads required in pick-and-roll, as well as when he drives and kicks.


His scoring toolbox is even more impressive, as he is a true four-level scorer: he can shoot the three, as well as the mid range, can finish in the paint with a variety of floaters and push shots, and is able to score at the rim among the trees. The incredible variety to his game combined with his craftiness and bulky frame makes him resilient against difficult playoff defenses.

If the Knicks are able to advance and meet the Boston Celtics in the Conference Finals, Brunson may be too overwhelmed by their defensive personnel to carry the Knicks past Boston’s prolific offense. However, this has been a legendary scoring run that will place Brunson not only among the league’s best current players, but also in the conversation with the best point guards to ever play.

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