Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks joins the Elite group in the playoffs

New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson has felt all of this throughout his basketball career. He has been doubted on every level, yet he continues to defy all expectations. The 2023-24 NBA season presented what was the most challenging obstacle of his career.

Brunson has proven he can be the No. 1 pick, but since January 27, all eyes have been on him. With Julius Randle out with a shoulder injury, the opponents’ entire game plan focuses on Brunson.

He faced it all. Teams occupy the entire field to take the ball out of his hands or hit him as soon as he crosses half the field. No matter what teams throw at him, Jalen Brunson has found a way to counter it.

In the 2024 NBA Playoffs, Brunson and the New York Knicks faced a tough test from the Philadelphia 76ers. During the regular season, Nick Nurse had done a great job of finding ways to limit Brunson’s scoring forays. In the first two games of the first-round series, this continued.

Brunson struggled mightily, shooting 16 of 55 from the field and 2 of 12 from 3-point range. He scored 46 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. Despite their struggling star, New York won both games.

Alas, if they wanted to win this series, Brunson would have to improve his production. That’s exactly what he did, as the All-Star point guard took his game to another level, joining some elite groups with his performances.

Brunson has scored at least 39 points in each of the final four games of the series. In each of these games he also distributed at least six assists. He is only the third player in NBA history to accomplish such a feat. The only other players with four straight playoff games with 35+ points and 5+ assists are LeBron James in 2009 and Michael Jordan in 1989 and 1990.

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