Jalen Brunson is entering his second season with the New York Knicks and his sixth since being drafted by the Mavericks in the second round in 2018. Not many people predicted the success he’s already had, and he still has a lot left to give.
For the second straight year, a team led by Brunson defeated Donovan Mitchell in the playoffs. In 2022, Brunson outplayed Mitchell in his final season with the Mavericks, averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in Dallas’ run to the Western Conference Finals.
The same happened again in 2023, with Brunson and Mitchell making their playoff debuts with their new teams, as the Knicks defeated the Cavaliers in five games.
New York ran out of gas in the second round of the playoffs against Miami, who went on to make an NBA Finals run. Brunson upped his percentages from the 2022 playoffs, averaging 27.8 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game, shooting 47.4% from the field.
After spending the 2020-21 season with the Knicks, Theo Pinson signed with the Mavericks in 2022-23, Brunson’s final year in Dallas. Pinson got a front-row seat to the guard’s domination in the postseason, which is likely a large part of why he said Brunson was “slept on.”
Theo Pinson labels Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson as “slept on”
On Theo Pinson’s “Run Your Race” podcast with AJ Richardson, Pinson didn’t hesitate to label Jalen Brunson as a “slept-on” player. Richardson said Brunson is no longer slept on, and Pinson said he was referring to two years ago when he and Brunson were in Dallas together.
Richardson called Brunson “a true traditional point guard,” but Pinson hilariously denied that. The former Knick said Brunson “is just short,” which makes him come off as a traditional point guard, but he doesn’t pass.
Pinson did say Brunson makes the right plays, but the Knicks guard will even tell you he doesn’t want to pass. According to Pinson, Brunson and Kyrie Irving are “irrational post-up players,” but he clarified his statement and said irrational wasn’t the right word to use.
Brunson should take Pinson comparing his game to Kyrie Irving’s as a compliment. Brunson might only be six-foot-one, but he drives to the basket like his six-foot-eight teammate Julius Randle. He stays in attack mode.
It’s fair to say Jalen Brunson is still “slept on,” although not as much as when he was with the Mavericks. He deserved to be named an All-Star this past season, but that didn’t happen. If he continues his high level of play, there’s no reason he should be snubbed for the second straight year.