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Home » Jalen Brunson’s Impressive Performance Dimmed by Knicks’ Shortcoming

Jalen Brunson’s Impressive Performance Dimmed by Knicks’ Shortcoming

05 January 2023, Thursday
The New York Knicks were able to edge out the San Antonio Spurs, securing a 21-18 record after the win. Despite a competitive game, the Spurs have not been performing well this season; the game should have been a straightforward victory for the Knicks.

Jalen Brunson had an impressive night on the court. He set a career high and scored 38 points while contributing seven rebounds and six assists. His shooting was also notable, making 17 of his 27 field goal attempts, as well as 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.

This masterful performance by Brunson was the deciding factor in the victory for the Knicks. The guard was cooking all game, and his clutch shots late in the game helped the Knicks pull away from the Spurs. Despite this, the Knicks bench nearly squandered the win, their poor performance typical of what has transpired throughout the season. It is difficult to comprehend since the bench usually provides solid play when the starters are not doing well, yet this season has been the exact opposite.

The Knicks bench unit was extremely disappointing during their matchup against the Spurs, shooting a poor 6-of-17 from the field while only having one player with a positive +/-. This lack of productivity has been a recurrent issue over the course of the Knicks' recent three-game win streak. Changes must be made to the squad if they are to avoid suffering similar losses in the future.

The recent performance of the Knicks' starters has been hugely impressive, and this has been the primary source of the team's success. Supporters of head coach Tom Thibodeau have, in the past, accused him of overworking his starters, but the recent struggles of the bench rotation have left him no alternative.

Unless something significantly changes soon, a trade needs to be executed in order to provide the bench with more reliable players. Players such as Isaiah Hartenstein, Miles McBride and Evan Fournier have been quite ineffective, leading to the need for their potential replacement.

While giving McBride more time is desirable due to his lack of experience, his minutes certainly need to be reduced. When RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin are back with the team, the bench will see an improvement, yet the need to replace the players mentioned earlier still stands.

It appears probable that when Toppin returns, Jericho Sims will supplant Hartenstein as the back-up center, prompting Hartenstein to seek a new team who will want him.

What needs to change, though, is far from clear; whether the organisation opts to exchange the veterans with limited minutes such as Derrick Rose, Cam Reddish, and Fournier, or instead opts for more dependable veterans in exchange for some of their younger players, remains a mystery.

The starters have made an impressive showing in recent games, with two of the last three wins being overwhelming victories. Despite these successes, the bench has still not been up to par, making the starters' performance even more noteworthy. They should certainly be commended for their efforts.

Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, and Immanuel Quickley have been leading the Knicks in the absence of some pivotal figures on the roster. These four's impressive play has had a huge impact on the team's recent success.

With such heavy minutes being placed on the starters, it is imperative that the front office makes some moves soon in order to maintain the team's momentum. Otherwise, the games may become increasingly more difficult to win.
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