Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson has been playing like a player deserving of his first trip to the All-Star Game, and he put forth another strong performance on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls.
Brunson recorded his second straight double-double, dropping 31 points and 13 assists to lead the Knicks to a 116-100 win over the Bulls in front of their home fans at Madison Square Garden.
Brunson, who entered the game averaging a career-high 25.6 points, has now reached the 30-point mark in three of his last seven games. However, his ball distribution over the last two games has taken the Knicks offense to another level. The 27-year-old hadn’t recorded double-digit assists this season prior to this recent run, so New York will surely benefit from him adding another dimension to his game.
Fans on social media were more than pleased with Brunson’s performance in Wednesday’s win:
Michael Grogins @mikeygrogins_
Brunson with this spacing and new responsibility is going to lead to 8+ assists a game
Billy…Knicks Fan @fasho2k
It’s no coincidence Brunson has double digit assist in the two games since the trade!!! Don’t shoot the messenger
Pat O’Keefe @patokeefe12
The #Knicks did not have a player reach double-digit assists for their first 32 games. Jalen Brunson has now done it in back-to-back games.
Brunson with a Double-Double of 23 Points and 10 Assists through 3 quarters.
Knicks Stats @NY_Knicks_Stats
Jalen Brunson has recorded 15+ points and 10+ assists in consecutive games for the first time in his career
Brunson wasn’t alone in getting praise online, as Knicks forward Julius Randle also had an impressive outing with a game-high 35 points. It’s the first time this season that both he and Brunson scored over 30 points in the same game. Fans gave Randle his flowers as well:
Billy…Knicks Fan @fasho2k
Brunson and Randle are having good games at the same time!!! pic.twitter.com/5QPyAaU5W8
Julito McCullum aka LITO @IamJulito
Julius Randle has been playing out of his mind bruh! Absolute menace.
Big Knick Energy @BigKnickEnergy_
Julius Randle finally realized that he is stronger than 99% of the NBA and started dominating.
“[Julius Randle] is playing the best basketball of his career right now, in my opinion.”
– Richard Jefferson pic.twitter.com/ceQ7LyzZaD
Blake Barker @BBarker_7
The hate on Julius Randle is crazy! Dude is clearly the best player on the Knicks. Rebounds and gets assist! He has had one of the biggest transformation as a player from not being able to shoot or dribble starting out his NBA career and now being a 3 point shooter with handles
When the Knicks traded R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Toronto Raptors to acquire OG Anunoby, it was expected that their defense would improve. However, the new spacing on offense has worked wonders for both Brunson and Randle, giving New York fans much to be excited about.
The Knicks will look to keep the momentum when they return to action on Wednesday in a road matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.