Knicks in playoff hunt thanks to ‘historic’ guard

The New York Knicks, which have missed nine seasons of the past 10, are in the hunt for the playoffs thanks to the stellar play of keeper Jalen Brunson.

Brunson, who signed with the Knicks as a free agent last summer, is having a career season, averaging 23.8 points and 6.1 assists with The shot rate is 48.7/41.4/83.3.

The Knicks, winner of eight of the past 10, placed fifth in the Eastern Conference. New York is three games away from hosting a first-round playoff series, a far cry from pre-season expectations.

by Brunson four years, $104 million The initial free agency contract looked like an act of desperation for New York. Now the former Maverick seems like a steal.

On TNT’s “Inside the NBA” recently, Charles Barkley says“[Outside of] KD and LeBron, Jalen Brunson is probably one of the best free agents in NBA history.”

Kenny Smith replied, “History?”

Barkley replied: “What he did this year is history.”

Brunson delivered something New York hadn’t had in years: leadership and relentless drive.

After New York’s 142-118 win over the Brooklyn Nets recently, the Knicks defend Josh Hart talked about Brunson’s leadership. He and Brunson were teammates at Villanova.

“That’s something I’ve seen for a long time. If you talk to anyone from Nova [Villanova], he had that impact,” he said. “If you talk to anyone from Dallas, he has that too. He’s one of those people that you want to build your culture around.”

Brunson’s efforts have proven to be contagious, especially with Julius Randle. The two-time All-Star champion is on track to have the best season of his career (25.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists) without missing a game.

With a great culture nurtured by Brunson, perhaps the Knicks can do what they haven’t done since 2013: win the playoff series.

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