Rick Carlisle sent a classy message to Jalen Brunson after the Pacers’ win over the Knicks

Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle had his work cut out for him trying to contain New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson.

Brunson has been one of the main reasons the Knicks have been so successful this postseason, despite the roster dealing with numerous injuries up and down the rotation.

Carlisle coached Brunson in Dallas before he left and took the Pacers job, so he’s no stranger to how good of a player Brunson is.

“He IS a great player. He IS a winner,” began Carlisle. “He had a lot of big nights when I was there with him. The year after I left, he had a lot of big nights there. I know if he had stayed in Dallas he would have been a big part of what they would do in the future and he he would perform at a very, very high level. He’s focused on what’s good in our game. He’s a great leader.”

While there is good respect between Carlisle and Brunson, that will all be set aside for Sunday’s Game 7 between the Knicks and Pacers. The winner will face the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, which begin Tuesday at TD Garden.