25/05/2024

Jalen Brunson can become the first Knicks point guard since Walt Frazier to make an All-NBA team

Hace 3 meses

Jalen Brunson can become the first Knicks point guard since Walt Frazier to make an All-NBA team

A 48-year drought.

A 48-year drought.

With only 27 games left in the 2023–24 season, we are on a time crunch heading towards the playoffs. The Knicks went into the break on a skid, losing four straight games and dropping to 33-22. New York has suffered many injuries and still sits fourth in the Eastern Conference. They are 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for third and four games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for second. Looking the other way, only three games separate the Knicks in the fourth seed and the Orlando Magic in the eighth seed. It’s a very tight Eastern Conference, and a lot can happen in the next 27 games.

Jalen Brunson

The Knick’s success hinges on the play of All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson. Fellow All-Star Julius Randle was having an excellent season before dislocating his shoulder against the Miami Heat on January 27th. OG Anunoboy also hasn’t played since January 27th. The two Knicks stars are progressing from their injuries, and the hope is for them to return soon.

Brunson’s average of 27.6 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game in 52 games was good enough to net him his first All-Star appearance. He became the first Knicks point guard since Mark Jackson in the 1988–89 season to be selected as an All-Star. Brunson is more of a scoring guard, but he displayed great passing abilities when the Knicks were healthy and rolling in January. In the year's opening month, he averaged 7.7 assists and 12.9 potential assists in 14 January games. JB also averaged 28.9 points that month, serving as the team’s leading scorer and set-up man.

Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle become the first pair of Knicks teammates to be named All-Stars since Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler in 2012–13. Before Melo and Chandler, Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell represented the Knicks in the 2000–01 season. Julius Randle, who got his third All-Star nod in the last four seasons, didn’t compete in the game due to injury. Randle did get acknowledged in the introductions, and the Knicks hope to see him back on the court soon. Julius was also likely on his way to another All-NBA season before getting hurt. The Knicks forward made the All-NBA Second Team in the 2020–21 season and the All-NBA Third Team last season. Randle became the first Knick since Carmelo Anthony in 2013 to make an All-NBA team.

Making the All-NBA team is another leap I hope to see from Brunson this season. If you thought 1988 was a long time since a Knicks point guard was an All-Star, it’s been even longer for All-NBA. The last Knicks PG to make All-NBA honors was the legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier in 1975. Frazier played ten seasons in New York, winning two championships and earning seven All-Star appearances. He made the All-NBA First Team four times, the Second Team twice, and had seven straight selections on the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

It won’t be easy to crack one of the three teams. Brunson will be competing against players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyrese Haliburton, Stephen Curry, and Donovan Mitchell. JB will need to continue his strong play while also making sure the Knicks win games. The conferences are very bunched, and records could factor into differentiating player selections. Brunson needs to play 13 of the final 27 games to make sure he is eligible.

If there was going to be someone to break that 48-year drought, Jalen Brunson is the perfect selection. The gritty six-foot-two point guard plays bigger than his size and is constantly working hard when he’s on the court. Brunson has also displayed the leadership qualities every team wants in their superstar. The Knicks need to get healthy, but as long as number 11 is on the court, they have a fighting chance in every game.

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