Jalen Brunson is a marvel

Wed, May 8th, 2024

The Opening Tip

  • Obi Toppin is rad as hell 

  • New must-follow NBA Twitter account

  • Jamal Murray was somehow not suspended for his tantrum

Tonight’s playoff games

1. The efficiency is the most impressive part

There’s something admirable (minus the foul grifting) about watching Jalen Brunson play these playoffs. 

  • He enters every game with the burden of ‘I better score 40 here or my team won’t win.’ 

  • Conversely, the opponent enters every game with the mindset of ‘We just have to stop him from getting 40 and we’ll win.’

And yet … he keeps on getting 40. His streak of such games is up to four in a row; two more and he’ll tie Jerry West’s record.

Brunson is not the first guard to accept the burden of being his team’s entire offensive engine for an entire postseason run (Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Isaiah Thomas), but no one (according to our BBREF research) has done it more efficiently. 


  • During Iverson’s legendary 2001 playoffs -- probably the most famous lone-wolf run -- he scored 32.9 PPG in 46.2 MPG on .389-.338-.774 shooting in 22 games.

  • Brunson shot 16-56 in the first two games of the Philly series. Since, he’s averaging 42 PPG and 29.2 shots per game in 45.2 MPG on .500/.342/.823 shooting in five games.

The Knicks are down Julius Randle, Bojan Bogdanović and now Mitchell Robinson. They are playing 6.5 and trusting 5.  None of this feels sustainable, but nothing’s better than watching a guy with a 37.5-point over/under die trying. 

[READ: The NBA’s one-man band era is here]

2. Daily GIF: He actually did this

A between-the-legs dunk during a not-exactly-clean breakaway in an intense non-first round NBA playoff game is the new bar for artistry over efficiency. Shout out to Obi Toppin.

3. Trivia

Which of these teams have the Spurs not beat in the NBA Finals?



• Pacers

• Cavs

Guess, click and see if you're right.

4. The best Twitter account is this completely unnecessary watchdog of NBA player activity

We just thought you should know about @thenbaalert, our new favorite Twitter account.

Its only purpose is to spit out Twitter activity from NBA players, which occasionally reveals hilarious snippets.

For example, from this account, we’ve learned: 

  • Myles Turner dabbles in conspiracy theories

  • Kevin Durant appreciates bots making fun of Kendrick Perkins

  • Bruce Brown followed @KnicksMuse on May 4, then unfollowed @KnicksMuse on May 6

  • Woj is a liberal

  • Our personal favorite: De’Aaron Fox unfollowed Dame Lillard literal minutes after the Bucks’ Game 6 loss 

Get lost in more meaningless/interesting NBA player minutiae here.

Quick hits

  • Jamal Murray got fined $100K for throwing a towel and a heat pack at a ref on Monday. If the Nuggets weren’t down 0-2, he probably would have gotten suspended. 

  • In case you missed the egregious phantom kick ball from Pacers-Knicks Game 1, here you go.

  • The WNBA is set to add charter flights for every team for the first time. 

  • The Celtics’ five wins this postseason have been by 20, 20, 14, 34 and 25. 

  • There is a chance that Rudy Gobert is actually funny and we’ve all been hating on him for years for no reason.

Reads + Pods

  • There was a model for Luka Doncic. He broke it. [The New Yorker]

  • The Pacers Might Have an Unsolvable Jalen Brunson Problem [The Ringer]

That's the buzzer.
Thanks for reading the 381st edition of The Grip.