The Knicks wrapped up the preseason on Friday night, and in four days, Jalen Brunson will make his regular-season debut for New York. The 26-year-old point guard is an excellent addition to the Knicks, although not all think that way.
Brunson signed a four-year, $104 million contract in free agency after having a breakout season with the Dallas Mavericks that resulted in a Western Conference Finals appearance. He was praised for his efforts while he was in Dallas, but as soon as he joined New York, Brunson was labeled as overrated.
His contract with the Knicks descends, which plays in the organization’s favor. Brunson’s the 15th highest-paid point guard in the league, but based on what people have said, you’d think that he was getting paid more than Stephen Curry. After New York’s struggles in recent years, with the exception of 2020-21, it’s nearly impossible to get non-Knicks fans to take the team seriously.
However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes that New York is headed in the right direction.
Brian Windhorst thinks Knicks won’t be an ‘easy team to beat’ with Jalen Brunson
The discussion started after Tim Legler said that Jalen Brunson won’t be a difference maker for New York. Windhorst has a different opinion, though. He said:
"“It is a step forward for the Knicks and I don’t think they’re going to be an easy team to beat, especially going into The Garden. I think there’s going to be a lot of teams that go in there thinking this is a rare easy night in the East and they’re going to walk out of there with a loss. And Jalen Brunson will be a reason why and more because of the upgrade that he is over what they had from the 37-win team last year.”"
We all know that the Knicks aren’t one of the top teams in the East, and Windhorst acknowledged that. He said that he isn’t sure that New York will even make it to the play-in, but that if the team wins 39 or even 41 games in 2022-23, that will be an improvement based on the state of the Eastern Conference.
Fans have only gotten to see Brunson perform in the preseason, but he looked as good as he did, if not better than how he looked in the playoffs for Dallas a few months ago. It’s been a long while since the Knicks have had a point guard that can create offense, and on top of that, Brunson makes players such as RJ Barrett and Julius Randle better.
If Legler didn’t watch much of an Alec Burks-led offense last year, we can’t blame him. However, Jalen Brunson will be a difference maker for New York. In fact, the point guard’s already shown that. Windhorst gets it.