Tom Thibodeau Sends Message on Jalen Brunson After Knicks Beat Heat

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

Getty Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

After missing the previous two games, the New York Knicks welcomed Jalen Brunson back into their rotation for their March 29 victory over the Miami Heat. 

In 30 minutes of playing time, Brunson provided his team with 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 45.5% from the field on 5-of-11 shooting. When speaking to the media after the game, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau went into detail about Brunson’s game and why he’s such a fan.

“There’s no show with Jalen,” Thibodeau said. “He’s just pure heart, and the leadership is off the charts. I mean, when you dig into the season that he’s had, when you talk about improving, this guy’s gone; he improved eight points. He’s from 16 points to 24 points. He’s, you know, career-high in assists; he’s shooting more threes and shooting them very efficiently.

When you look at improvement, you’re looking at, okay, why is this guy, why has he gotten so (much) better? It’s the way he approaches the game. It’s how he works. And he’s not talking about it. You walk in the gym, you’ll see it. There’s no messing around with him. There’s no agendas with him. Just pure-hearted. That’s what I love about him.”

Brunson has been an integral member of the Knicks rotation since joining in the off-season and has helped lead his team to fifth in the Eastern Conference, which, if they stay there, will allow them to qualify for the postseason without the need for the play-in tournament.

Jalen Brunson Not Worried By Julius Randle Injury

During New York’s game against Miami, Julius Randle suffered a sprained ankle, forcing him out of the team’s rotation for the rest of the game and leaving Knicks fans everywhere concerned.

Fortunately for the Knicks, they managed to dispatch the Heat in Randle’s absence, although they would likely prefer him to return to the rotation quickly, so they can continue building momentum heading into the playoffs.

When speaking to the media following the game, Brunson noted how he wasn’t too concerned about Randle and believes he will be back in the near future.

“I know Julius is a fighter, he’s a competitor, he’s doing everything he can to make sure he’s ready to go,” Brunson said. “Not that concerned.”

Randle has been elite for the Knicks all season, earning his second All-Star nod, and averaging 25.1 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 45.9% from the field, and 34.3% from beyond the arc.

Julius Randle Receives Praise

Randle has been more than an on-court force for New York this season, as he has grown into a genuine locker-room leader, ensuring that his teammates don’t lose focus and feel supported when struggling for form.

During his early tenure with the Knicks, Isaiah Hartenstein was struggling to produce, but according to the big man who was speaking to media after the game, Randle ensured that his head didn’t drop and supported him as he continued to settle with his new team.

“It was health first of all; I think it was after one game I played bad; I think I got a text from Julius, just saying to keep going,” Hartenstein said. “Just him being a teammate like that. I think helped give me more confidence. And I think of the whole season; he’s been really good at making sure that everyone feels comfortable.”

At the time of writing, there hasn’t been an update on Randle’s injury, but with the Knicks’ next game scheduled for Sunday, April 2, they coaching staff may be quietly confident he can make a speedy return.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments