Knicks' Jalen Brunson Draws Praise from Pacers Coach

The Indiana Pacers know they have a tall task in defending New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson.
May 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) during game six
May 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) during game six / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are heading into Game 7 with Jalen Brunson leading the way.

In order for the Knicks to continue their playoff run, Brunson will have to play like he has throughout the entire postseason. He's scored 40 or more points on six different occasions, which is one shy of the franchise record. Even in losses like Game 6, Brunson dropped 31 points and continued to cause fits for the Pacers.

"This guy is doing some historic stuff in the playoffs," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "There's no resting on him, there's no feeling good about anything with him. It's an endless task when you face a player like him in a series like this."

With guys like Josh Hart and OG Anunoby questionable to play, the Knicks still feel like they have a shot. That's probably because Brunson is still available, even if he's also picked up a nick or two during the postseason.

The Pacers have done their best to contain Brunson, and a 31-point performance might be considered a positive given how much he's done outside of Game 6. Limiting him as much as possible will be key for the Pacers, but Brunson has made an impact in every game so far.

If Brunson can play his game, regardless of what the Pacers will do, the Knicks will have a shot. And with the home crowd behind them, the Knicks will have a great chance to win Game 7 and advance to their first Eastern Conference Finals since 2000.

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Jeremy Brener

JEREMY BRENER

Jeremy Brener is an editor, writer and social media manager for several Fan Nation websites. His work has also been featured in 247 Sports and SB Nation as a writer and podcaster. Brener has been with Fan Nation since 2021. Brener grew up in Houston, going to Astros, Rockets and Texans games as a kid. He moved to Orlando in 2016 to go to college and pursue a degree. He hosts "The Dream Take" podcast covering the Rockets, which has produced over 350 episodes since March 2020. Brener graduated in May 2020 from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism minoring in Sport Business Management. While at UCF, Brener worked for the school's newspaper NSM.today and "Hitting the Field," a student-run sports talk show and network. He was the executive producer for "Hitting the Field" from 2019-20. During his professional career, Brener has covered a number of major sporting events including the Pro Bowl, March Madness and several NBA and NFL games. As a fan, Brener has been to the 2005 World Series, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 NCAA National Championship between the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels. Now, Brener still resides in the Central Florida area and enjoys writing, watching TV, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Brener can be followed on Twitter @JeremyBrener. For more inquiries, please email jeremybrenerchs@gmail.com.