Jalen Brunson is in his second season with the New York Knicks, and even after a slow start, he's averaging more points per game than he did in 2022-23. What's most impressive is that through 16 games, he's shooting a career-best 47.2% from three, a big jump from the 41.6% he averaged last season.
In the loss to Phoenix on Sunday, Brunson shot 15-of-25 from the field and 5-of-10 from three for 35 points. In three of New York's last five games, he's scored 30+ points.
His clutch play down the stretch on Friday against Miami helped New York claw its way back from a 21-point deficit for the 100-98 win.
Brunson's been the Knicks' most consistent star since arriving in the city in 2022, and this could (should) be the season where he's not only named an All-Star for the first time, but makes an All-NBA team, too.
His former teammate and current ESPN analyst JJ Redick carved out a segment on his podcast to discuss Brunson's play.
JJ Redick says Knicks' Jalen Brunson is 'All-NBA, All-Star caliber player'
JJ Redick spent part of the 2020-21 season in Dallas with Jalen Brunson and the Mavericks. He admitted that when he was in Texas, he thought Brunson was a "fantastic player" but that he didn't envision the point guard rising to the level he's been playing at since arriving in New York.
Redick harped on the pressure that comes with playing for the Knicks, mainly because of the contract that Brunson signed. The guard's four-year, $104 million free agency deal was quickly labeled as an overpay, but it's turned into a bargain deal for New York.
There were questions about if Brunson could be the point guard that the Knicks needed, and as Redick noted, he's far exceeded expectations. Brunson averaged 24 points per game in 2022-23 and has upped that average to 24.9 points this season. He'll likely cool off from three as the season progresses, but he's still trending upward.
Brunson was snubbed from being named an All-Star last season, as Julius Randle represented the team in Utah. Their roles could very well be reversed in February, with Randle's numbers down from what they were last year.
Regardless of what happens with All-Star/All-NBA votes, Jalen Brunson has already solidified himself as one of the best point guards in the league. He doesn't need the individual accolades, but coming from someone who knows basketball at a high level, it's nice to hear JJ Redick give New York's point guard the recognition he deserves.