Jalen Brunson scored team-high 32 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Knicks lost to the Trail Blazers (129-132). After the game the 26-year-old received praise from Portland’s head coach Chauncey Billups, a former NBA point guard.
The 2004 NBA champion saw similarities between him and Brunson as both of them were neither the fastest nor highest jumping players, yet they found ways to be good in the league.
“He does it from the neck up, man,” Billups said. “He’s not physically faster or can jump higher. He’s just really smart. Gets it done with his angles. His pump fakes. He just gets it done and plays the game with his neck up. Tough as nails.
“We were different players but I also tried to play the game with my mind. I wasn’t that fast. I was stronger than most guys. But I wasn’t that fast. I couldn’t jump. But I had to find an advantage somewhere. And that’s what he’s done.”
This season Brunson is averaging 20.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 32.6 minutes per game for New York.