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Knicks Keep Racking Up Wins, Move Up To Fifth

Following a tough loss to the Mavericks, the Knicks have turned around and won four out of their next five games, moving the team to 26-17 and fifth place in the Eastern Conference. OG Anunoby has continued to look like an excellent fit in the starting lineup as the defense has been one of the best in the entire league since the acquisition. Overall, the Knicks are 9-2 since the trade, and they have climbed up to fifth place in the East, one game back of the fourth place Cavs.

Knicks Defense Shines

Over the past five games, the Knicks have only allowed over 100 points once, which was against the Wizards. Anunoby has completely revamped the New York defense with his versatility. He is capable of guarding any position on the floor at a high level which allows the Knicks to switch more matchups when necessary.

In the 11 games now with Anunoby, the Knicks have a defensive rating of 105.1, which would be a whole 4.2 points better than the total top defensive rating of 109.3 held by the Timberwolves. Opponents are averaging a mere 100.9 points per game as compared to the Knicks 114.6 average.

Over these past five games, New York has not allowed an opposing player to score over 24 points. With Anunoby's defensive ability, it has been almost impossible for even star level players to have big offensive performances against New York.

Brunson Makes Case To Start All-Star Game

Jalen Brunson has elevated himself to one of the true stars in the NBA, and he has been on a tear as of late. Over the past three games, he has a 30-point, 41-point and 38-point performance. Even with these high scoring performances he is still averaging eight assists in these three games, as well as 5.3 rebounds. For the season, Brunson is averaging 26.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds. He is having not only his best individual season of his career, but one of the best seasons of any guard in the entire NBA.

Even with these astounding numbers though, Brunson only ranks sixth amongst Eastern Conference guards in fan voting. The guards currently above him are Tyrese Haliburton, Trae Young, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell and Tyrese Maxey. Among these guards, Brunson ranks third in points, second in field goal percentage and first in three point percentage.

His efficiency as a guard is easily the most impressive part of Brunson's game. To be shooting over 47 percent from the field and over 42 percent from three at that position is something that very few guards in the history of the league have accomplished. The Eastern Conference guards ahead of him are certainly all very talented and having great seasons as well, however Brunson being lower than all five of them in the fan voting stage is a bit disappointing. Brunson should however have no issues making it in as a reserve, which would be the first All-Star selection of his career.

Trade Rumors

Ever since the acquisition of Anunoby, there has been speculation on what the Knicks next move would be. The loss of Immanuel Quickley has definitely hurt the bench, and New York has the ability to make a move for another bench piece to help the team this year.

Names such as Malcolm Brogdon, Jordan Clarkson, and even Dejounte Murray have come up in rumors, but there is one player who directly talked about the possibility of joining New York. Bruce Brown was sent from Indiana to Toronto in the recent Pascal Siakam trade, and all signs indicate towards Toronto looking to flip Brown as soon as possible.

Brown was asked about the possibility of playing for Tom Thibodeau, and in response he said, “I play extremely hard,” Brown said. “I would think [I’m] the type of player that he likes.”

Brown is right in that he would be a player Thibodeau likes. He is a pure effort type of player that plays incredibly hard on the defensive end, and is willing to make the hustle plays. The problem with Brown is he would not exactly fix what is missing from the loss of Quickley. Brown's skillset is actually quite redundant to that of Josh Hart, so Brown is certainly a talented player that many contenders will be interested in, he may not be the greatest fit for this Knicks team.

Trade rumors aside, New York has been playing the best they have all season long since acquiring Anunoby. They will look to continue this success Tuesday night against the Nets.