Knicks Notes: Jalen Brunson, Tom Thibodeau, Mitchell Robinson

Suddenly, the once-struggling Knicks have won seven straight and have the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference, and are just 1.5 games back of fourth.Jalen Brunson

“I like where we are in the season in terms of, we know the intensity is getting different now,” coach Tom Thibodeau told the media, “so we have to respond accordingly and this should bring the best out in us.”

Leading the way in Wednesday’s win over the Nets was no less than guard Jalen Brunson, who scored 30 points in the first half on his way to 39 overall.

“We’re on a mission,” center Mitchell Robinson said, via Fred Katz of The Athletic. “We wanna be in the playoffs. Everybody wants to be there. Everybody on the team is gonna fight.”

  • After winning seven straight and putting the Knicks in the playoff picture, Thibodeau is putting himself in running for NBA Coach of the Year, wrote Eric Richter of the New York Post.
  • The recent rise may have the Knicks setting themselves up to land a superstar either via trade or in free agency this offseason, wrote Zach Braziller of the Post.
  • Thibodeau suggested the winning streak isn’t really that big of a surprise. “We have a team of leaders and we have a team of gym rats,” he said, via Katz. “So, you don’t have to tell them, ‘Oh, we gotta go hard.’ If you got hard-playing guys, they’re gonna go hard in practice. They’re gonna go hard in a game. You’re not winding them up. I doubt if I’ll ever have to tell Josh Hart, ‘You gotta go hard now.’ I think we’ve got the right type of guys.”

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