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Jalen Brunson on Knicks’ Opening Night Mistakes: ‘I Hold Myself to a Higher Standard’

Jalen Brunson on Knicks’ Opening Night Mistakes: ‘I Hold Myself to a Higher Standard’
Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVOctober 26, 2023

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks brings the ball up court against the Boston Celtics on October 25, 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Wednesday was a season opener to forget for Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks.

The guard was an ugly 6-of-21 from the field during the 108-104 loss to the Boston Celtics. He also didn’t want to use opening-night nerves as an excuse when asked if some of the poor play could be attributed to that.

“It might be, but I hold myself to a higher standard,” he told reporters. “I just have to be better no matter what night it is.”

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“I hold myself to a higher standard.”

Jalen Brunson was asked if any of his or the Knicks’ mistakes were attributable to opening night: pic.twitter.com/R43CkrE8l0

The addition of Brunson was a major reason the Knicks won a playoff series last season for just the second time since the 1999-2000 campaign. It was reasonable to expect the team to make a jump in 2023-24 with more continuity, but Wednesday was not an ideal start.

It seemed like the home team was on the way to a win when Brunson extended the lead to six with a floater in the final four minutes. However, the Celtics closed the game on a 13-3 spurt that included clutch shots from former Knicks big man Kristaps Porziņģis.

Brunson also missed a technical free throw during Boston’s final run, which was a glaring part of his overall struggles.

It wasn’t all bad news for the Knicks, as Immanuel Quickley added 24 points off the bench behind five made three-pointers. RJ Barrett also scored 24 points, but the shooting woes of the two go-to options were too much to overcome.

In addition to Brunson, Julius Randle was an even worse 5-of-22 from the field.

That simply isn’t good enough against an elite team like the Celtics, which is notable in a season in which New York will be compared to the likes of Boston and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference race.

Fortunately for the Knicks, Brunson has a track record of success and will surely turn things around as he holds himself to that standard. His next chance at a better showing will come Friday when they hit the road to face the Atlanta Hawks.

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