Gary Payton II can't admit that Knicks star Jalen Brunson cooked Warriors

Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 34 points against the Warriors.

New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The New York Knicks were down three starters on Monday in San Francisco but knocked off a fully healthy Warriors squad. OG Anunoby missed the game, and it was revealed he returned to NYC for an MRI that came back clean. There's no timetable for his return, so Knicks fans needed some good news after that update.

Brunson and Co. delivered. The star guard scored a game-high 34 points on 12-of-25 shooting in 35 minutes. New York pushed to 3-0 on its West road trip, with one tough battle against Denver remaining until the team returns to MSG.

After the game, Draymond Green praised Brunson on his podcast, "The Draymond Green Show." He said guarding Brunson in the pick-and-roll is "impossible" and he prefers to guard him in iso.

If a four-time NBA champion, eight-time All-Defensive Team, and 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year can give Brunson his props, you'd think Gary Payton II could do the same. Instead, when asked about the challenge of guarding Brunson, Payton immediately said, "You know the league, can't touch anybody..."

He said that Brunson is "pretty shifty," but Payton ended his response by saying that all officials need is "a little contact" to blow their whistle.

Gary Payton II can't admit the truth about Knicks star Jalen Brunson

Brunson shot 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Three of those attempts came after he shot a three, and Payton was whistled for the flagrant because he didn't give Brunson room to land. That was an obvious call.

Brunson did lead the game with his eight attempts, but Steph Curry shot 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. It's not as if the Knicks were getting calls and the Warriors weren't. Brunson knows how to draw contact, but he got hit down low a few times, and the officials didn't call a foul. In the third quarter, Green hit Brunson, who should've gone to the line for the and-1.

It's normal to be upset after a loss, especially against an extremely shorthanded team. The Warriors are trying to fight their way out of Play-In Tournament range and currently sit No. 10 in the conference with a 35-32 record. Every game matters. The same goes for the Knicks, who have been fighting to stay in the top six.

That said, rather than trying to create a narrative about Brunson getting foul calls 24/7, he could've just been honest. Payton didn't need to praise Brunson. He didn't have to go in-depth about Brunson as Green did on his podcast. A quick response about how tough it is to guard Brunson would've sufficed.

It's good for Payton that he doesn't have to worry about facing Brunson again this season. Knicks fans know how he gets all the calls!

Next. 20 People who turned their backs on the Knicks. 20 People who turned their backs on the Knicks. dark