Jalen Brunson missed his first game back at Dallas after the the point guard was ruled out before tipoff of Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks due to a sore right hip. Head coach Tom Thibodeau called on Immanuel Quickley to replace Brunson on Tuesday night.
The Knicks also lost RJ Barrett in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game due to a right index finger laceration.
Brunson’s DNP spoils his first reunion game in Dallas since joining the Knicks this summer and marks his first missed game of the season. Brunson, who signed a four-year, $110 million contract with the Knicks this summer, did get a chance to play against the Mavericks weeks ago in MSG — which ended in a blowout 121-100 loss.
The Mavericks selected Brunson 33rd overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Superstar Luka Doncic was selected thrid overall in the same draft. The two went on to be a difficult duo to gameplan against for opposing teams. Last season, the duo combined to contribute 44.7 points per game for the Mavericks.
So far this season, Brunson is having a career year as the primary ball-handler for the Knicks. He’s averaging 20.2 points and 6.6 assists per game — a jump from last year’s 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game.
With the Knicks currently holding the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, the guard hopes to secure a playoff spot and lead his team to make a run — similarly to what he did for the Mavs last season.
With Doncic out the first three games of the first round playoff series against the Utah Jazz last season, Brunson played a key role in his team advancing. Brunson averaged 27.8 points per game that series — dropping 41 points on 60% shooting in Game 2. The Mavericks reached the Western Conference Finals, losing to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.
His strong play made the Knicks recruit the lefty guard in the offseason. Last week, the NBA stripped the Knicks of a 2025 second-round pick for tampering with Brunson’s signing.