Anyone who has followed the NBA this season is aware of the kind of season Jalen Brunson has been enjoying for the New York Knicks. Putting up averages of 26.8 points and 6.5 assists while shooting over 42% from three, Brunson has been the driving force behind one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
There have still been some doubters of his ability, but many more are taking note of and recognizing how special a player he has become. After New York's win over Charlotte on Monday night, Hornets guard Cody Martin had some strong words of admiration for Brunson.
""He's a tough cover, man. He's really mastered his footwork, and when he gets in the paint, not only can he score the ball but he's a floor general. He knows the reads, he knows what to look for, and he makes his team better. Obviously, it allows his whole team to play with a lot of confidence and feel like they're staying ready, and waiting for it to come to them and when they do they're ready to play. It's hard playing against someone like him. It's tough, you try to find different schemes, different looks, and in reality they're good at what they do and they're going to get enough looks to score the ball. It's just about doing what you can to contain him and tonight we didn't do exactly that." "- Cody Martin
Martin's words accurately summarize Brunson's 32-point night, where he shot 13-for-24 and racked up seven assists as well. The shorthanded Hornets did all they could, but they ultimately had no answer for the crafty scoring power of Brunson.
Sitting at 31-17, the Knicks have risen all the way up to the third spot in the East standings, due in no small part to the contributions of their starting point guard. As more players around the league take notice of his star power, it is outings like Brunson's on Monday that will give New York a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs.