Jalen Brunson's All-NBA case grows stronger after Knicks opponent misses key game

Jalen Brunson should make history this season.

New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The 2023-24 season has already been memorable for New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson. He earned his first All-Star honor and is well on his way to making his first All-NBA team.

The NBA's collective bargaining agreement implemented a new rule for this season that has already disqualified several players from end-of-season awards. Players must play a minimum of 20 minutes in 63 games and a minimum of 15 in two games to be eligible for awards, like making an All-NBA team.

Brunson has played in 59 of New York's 64 games this season, so barring a sudden change, he'll be eligible to make an All-NBA team. One of the players he was competing with for a spot was eliminated from being All-NBA after he was ruled out of his team's matchup on Monday.

Donovan Mitchell would be a lock for an All-NBA spot, but he missed Cleveland's game against New Orleans with a left knee bone bruise. It was the guard's seventh consecutive contest he's missed with the injury. Mitchell made All-NBA Second Team in 2022-23.

Donovan Mitchell ineligible for All-NBA spot, strengthening Jalen Brunson's case

If Brunson makes an All-NBA team, it'll be the first time a Knicks point guard has done so since 1975. New York legend Walt 'Clyde' Frazier was the last, so it's been a long time coming.

Brunson is averaging a career-high 27.1 points and 6.5 assists per game, shooting 47.4% from the field and 40.3% from three. Amid an injury-filled season, he's helped keep the Knicks at the top of the conference with a 37-27 record.

He could join Julius Randle as the other current Knick to be named to an All-NBA team. Randle won't reach the 65-game mark this season because of his dislocated shoulder. Last season, he made All-NBA Third Team.

As ESPN's Bobby Marks noted, Trae Young, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Devin Booker will likely fail to hit the 65-game mark. Young has played in 51 of 64 games, Towns has played in 60 of 65 games (and he's out with a left knee lateral meniscus tear), and Booker has played in 51 of 65 games.

Without considering the 65-game mark, Brunson has put together a solid All-NBA case, but those odds have gone up.

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