After defeating the Charlotte Hornets, 134-131, in an overtime thriller, the New York Knicks have improved to 3-1 on the season. Jalen Brunson’s inclusion, who recently received a four-year, $104 million contract as a result of his outstanding 2022 postseason performance, seems to be already paying off.
Brunson is already evoking memories for Knicks supporters of a specific guard who ignited the world with his performances ten years ago. Brunson cemented his place in Knicks history by scoring 27 points and dishing out 13 assists against the Hornets, matching a stat line not seen by the team since Jeremy Lin’s prime.
According to status, Linsanity was the previous Knicks guard to have figures like “Jalen Brunson tonight: 27 PTS 13 AST.”
Jalen Brunson tonight:
The last Knicks guard to put up those numbers was Linsanity. pic.twitter.com/x8Ox8BsjDw
— StatMuse (@statmuse) October 27, 2022
As part of a run of standout performances during his breakthrough season, Jeremy Lin scored 28 points and dished out 14 assists on February 19, 2012, against the Dallas Mavericks, a team that Jalen Brunson had previously played for. This helped the Knicks defeat the Mavericks 104-97 in front of a boisterous Madison Square Garden crowd.
Is this the beginning of Brunsanity, the potential successor to Linsanity? After switching to a completely different tale that is nevertheless set in the same universe, there have been direct sequels to movies previously that did not use the same actor in the starring role.
A spin-off also makes perfect sense because Lin and Brunson, both undrafted guards out of Harvard and selected 33rd overall in 2018, were also underappreciated guards. Both players have shown a smattering of playmaking and scoring early in their careers, but they seized the significant opportunity when it has been presented to them.
Lin entered the scene as an immediate star in February 2012, and Brunson emerged as a talent with All-Star potential during the Mavs’ playoff run. Jeremy Lin had a good career overall, but his performances never quite approached his February 2012 peaks again, and after only seven years in the NBA, he was out of the league after signing with the Houston Rockets in the following offseason.
However, it appears that Brunson is prepared to maintain these calibers of play because he does not appear to be hindered by off-court troubles in the same way that Lin did. However, the season has only just begun, and Jalen Brunson and the Knicks are aware that much work remains in order for them to return to the postseason.