For the second straight year, Donovan Mitchell was sent home by a Jalen Brunson team in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Last year it was Mitchell’s Jazz that was eliminated by Brunson’s Mavericks, but this year with each guard on a new team, it was Brunson’s New York Knicks that punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Semifinals over Mitchell’s Cavaliers.
Brunson averaged 24 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in the first-round series while shooting 43.7% from the field and 29% from three. Mitchell averaged 23.2 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 43.3% from the floor and 28.9% from three. Both players put up similar numbers, but Brunson was the best player in the series between both teams.
New York’s point guard made a name for himself in last year’s playoffs, but his play that helped Dallas get to the Western Conference Finals wasn’t taken seriously by many. However, since Brunson followed up a good 2022 playoff run with a great 2023 regular season and first-round series, there should be no one questioning whether or not Brunson is a star.
More Knicks news
- Jericho Sims, who last played on April 7, underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn labrum and cuff tendon in his right shoulder. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he’s expected to be back in time for training camp.
- Julius Randle reinjured the left ankle that he sprained at the end of the regular season in Game 5 of the Knicks’ win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday. He didn’t play in the second half but returned to the bench in street clothes. His status for Game 1 of New York-Miami on Sunday is still unknown.
- The full schedule for the Knicks-Heat second-round series has been released, but only the time and television channel for Game 1 has been announced.
- The NBA announced that every NBA Finals game will start 30 minutes earlier than the usual 9 p.m. ET tip-off time. It will be the first time in 20 years that this has happened.
- After the Bucks were eliminated by the Heat on Wednesday, Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked if Milwaukee’s season was a failure. His thoughtful response has gone viral.
- ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t expected to sign an extension with the Bucks this summer. He still has two full seasons left on his contract.
- Clippers president Lawrence Frank confirmed on Thursday that Kawhi Leonard has a torn meniscus in his right knee. Leonard only played in Games 1 and 2 of LA’s first-round series against Phoenix. He played in 52 regular season games this season.