Jalen Brunson has come into 2023 rejuvenated and ready to roll. Brunson played 34 straight games to start the season before a hip injury caused him to miss the last three games of 2022.
In 12 December appearances, Brunson struggled, shooting 41.3 percent from the field on 15.8 field goal attempts per game. He also saw his free throw rate and percentage go down from November to December. Brunson delighted Knicks fans with his aggressive style and that tailed off in the final calendar month. Another key stat to regress was turnovers. Turning it over 1.6 times per game in November, that number jumped to 2.8 in December. A number far too high for the often steady point guard. (All stats can be found on ESPN)
During 16 games in November, Brunson averaged 22.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.6 turnovers on a 49/32/91 shooting split.
He followed up a promising All-Star caliber November by watching stats and efficiencies decrease. Finishing December with averages of 18.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 2.8 turnovers on a 41/45/85 shooting split.
The increase in three-point percentage is great, but Brunson left a lot to be desired closing out 2022.
Strong start to 2023:
Jalen Brunson has been incredible to start the new year. Helping the Knicks to a little win streak, the point guard looks refreshed and focused after missing some time.
Averaging 29.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.7 assists, Brunson has played every bit like the hopeful All-Star Knicks fans had eyed when he signed in the off-season.
His highlighting performance so far in 2023 is his career-high 38 points in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.
All 17 Jalen Brunson Field Goals Tonight (38 Points)— KnicksMuse (@KnicksMuse) January 5, 2023
Beautiful Basketball. pic.twitter.com/w84eixho8z
Attempting 21.3 field goal attempts per game, he’s been able to manage an efficient 51.3% from the floor. Three-point shooting has also increased, knocking down 50% of long balls on 5.3 attempts per game. Though this percentage is most likely unsustainable, Brunson has shown the ability to get hot from deep in short stretches. The type of shooting stretch that the Knicks would need to swing a playoff series if they got that opportunity later this season.
Not everything has been all rosy with JB as we turned the calendar. He’s turned it over 3.7 times per game and shot an uncharacteristic 57 percent from the foul line on 7 attempts per game. Much like the three-point percentage will likely decrease, these two key stats should only increase as the month and season go on.
Things are looking up for Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks as we sink our teeth into 2023 about halfway through the 2022-23 season.