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“Loves Being the Leader!”: Jalen Brunson’s Villanova HC Praises Knicks Star’s Ability to Shine Under Pressure

The trio of Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo has enabled the New York Knicks to make a deep run in the 2024 playoffs. This triple punch had also been responsible for Villanova Wildcats’ twin titles with Brunson as the leader of the offensive pack. Their Wildcats’ head coach Jay Wright still seems to be in awe of his former disciples. Joining the ‘Inside the NBA’ crew, after the Game 4 battle between the Dallas Mavericks and the OKC Thunder, he claimed that Brunson has always been an able leader.

During the interview, Charles Barkley inquired from Wright if he was “surprised” by Brunson’s ascension as one of the best scorers in the league after he decided to sign with the Knicks.

Wright pointed out the PG’s history of leading his school to a state championship and the Wildcats to two NCAA championships. Thus, when the former Mavs guard decided to leave Luka Doncic and switch to the Knicks, the Wildcats HC understood his desire to become a leader yet again. However, even he was surprised by his effectiveness,

When he chose to go to New York, it showed me that he wanted to be the guy. He loves being a leader, he loves having everything on his shoulders. It has surprised me a little bit that he has been able to do it with this much effectiveness.”

Being the second top scorer in the playoffs, Brunson has earned every bit of praise he is bestowed upon. The Knicks PG has indeed been a thunderbolt throughout the playoffs.

Jalen Brunson has lifted the New York Knicks

Second only to Joel Embiid, who is already out of the post-season, Brunson has reeled in 32.9 points, per game in the 2024 playoffs, owing to three 40+ points performances in a row against the 76ers. He started the ECSF series against the Pacers with a 43-point masterpiece.

His 40+ points outings in four straight games have carved his name alongside the GOAT. The high-scoring guard now has just two 40+ points less compared to Knicks legend Bernard King, who leads the pack in Knicks postseason history.

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The lefty scorer elevated his game in Julius Randle’s absence and has provided the Knicks with much-needed additional scoring. The squad doesn’t have viable shot-creators, thus the opposition’s defense is perpetually fixated upon the 6’3” guard. Despite the relentless pressure, he has pulled off some of the strongest showings in NBA playoffs history. 

However, former Villanova’s job is far from done as the Indiana Pacers have tied the ECSF series 2-2 and the Knicks have looked brittle without OG Anunoby. However, Brunson has repeatedly beaten the odds and shone in pressure-filled situations.

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