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Stephen A. Smith Gives Jalen Brunson Credit, Predicts Eastern Conference Finals Appearance for Knicks

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Stephen A. Smith Gives Jalen Brunson Credit, Predicts Eastern Conference Finals Appearance for Knicks

The Milwaukee Bucks’ humiliating 25-point loss to the Orlando Magic allowed the New York Knicks to steal the second seed in the Conference standings with a 120-119 overtime win against the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks now await the winner of the first play-in tournament game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat for their matchup in the first round of the playoffs. In the wake of this, ESPN analyst and well-known Knicks fan Stephen A. Smith readily guaranteed a series win for his team. 

The veteran talking head credited his confidence in the Knicks to Jalen Brunson’s incredible form. On the latest episode of the Stephen A. Smith show, the analyst said, 

“The biggest reason why we [are the #2 seed] is the top-five league MVP candidate known as the one and only Jalen Brunson. Did you know over the last 10 games, the brother is averaging 37.8 points per game on over 40% shooting from three, with 8.3 assists? Did you know?”

Smith continued to boast about Brunson’s sensational form and noted that he had scored at least 30 points in seven straight games and shot an incredible 44% from beyond the arc to guide the Knicks to  the second-seed in the East. The guard’s incredible form was the driving force behind New York’s stellar finish in the campaign despite the Knicks missing their star Julius Randle due to injury. Regardless of how the Knicks’ campaign ends, Brunson can take pride in turning pessimistic Knicks fans, like Smith, into believers. 

Stephen A. Smith outlines Knicks’ path to the Eastern Conference Finals

After boasting about Jalen Brunson and the Knicks’ sensational form, Stephen A. Smith explained why he has infallible belief in New York’s chances against the Heat and the 76ers. He said,

Jimmy Butler, I don’t know how healthy he is. Bam Adebayo ain’t been himself. So I’m looking at the New York Knicks right now, why can they beat Miami? They can take them… I understand how unstoppable Joel Embiid is… He’s otherworldly but he ain’t been healthy. He just came back recently… And he’s looked a bit gimpy.”

Smith claimed that he doesn’t believe the Knicks can beat the Boston Celtics, but has complete faith in his team’s chances against the Bucks or the Indiana Pacers in the second round. Therefore, his team’s pathway to the Eastern Conference Finals is pretty much clearly visible to Stephen A.

The analyst is sticking his neck out for the Knicks and it remains to be seen whether they come through on his belief. However, Smith shouldn’t be too quick to discount teams like the Miami Heat, who are a different breed in the playoffs. Last year, they ousted the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks as the eight-seed in the East.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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