"He can't be the key tonight"- Stephen A. Smith speculates Jalen Brunson might not be X-factor for Knicks to secure Game 6 win

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks
Stephen A. Smith speculates Jalen Brunson might not be X-factor for Knicks to secure Game 6 win

Despite the big 2023-24 season Jalen Brunson is having for the New York Knicks, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith doesn't think he will have a big impact in Game 6 of their second-round series against the Indiana Pacers.

During Friday's edition of his Stephen A. Smith Show, the Knicks superfan explained how superior Brunson has been during the series but clarified that he can't be the key to winning tonight's game.

"I'm going to tell you this. Indiana has no answer for Jalen Brunson. The way he's busting Nembhard's a** and the rest of the Indiana Pacers, he actually should be arrested for assaulting his damn self. Jalen Brunson has been nothing short of abusing defenders from Indiana," Smith said. (33:15)
"So much so that you had Rick Carlisle cussing out people in press conference. They looked soft, they looked like they didn't want it, they was fumbling and bumbling the ball all over the place, commit turnovers, at every turn... He [Brunson] was busting that a**.

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As great as Brunson has been, Smith doesn't think he should carry the team in Game 6, naming two players who must step up for him.

"Having said all of that, he can't be the key tonight. It's gonna have to be Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo. ...Donte DiVincenzo's shot is gonna be key, his shot-making ability, he needs to hit those threes when he's open, for it, so his shot-making ability is one way to go, here's the other: Josh Hart's heart. His guts, his willingness to go get that damn basketball no matter who he's up against. Josh Hart got to bring out that game tonight," Smith declared.

This is a crucial game for the New York Knicks, even if they'll play Game 7 at home. Considering that the Boston Celtics are already in the Eastern Conference Finals, they need time to prepare for the No. 1 seed.

With Brunson leading the way, the Knicks will have a big chance to beat the Pacers tonight, but Stephen A. thinks Brunson alone won't be enough to get past Tyrese Haliburton and his squad.

Is Jalen Brunson playing tonight?

Jalen Brunson's ankle has been bothering him during this series. Fans were worried about this situation, but the former Dallas Mavericks guard was removed from the Knicks' injury report for Game 6.

Brunson is coming off a 44-point performance in the Knicks' 121-91 win against the Pacers, and although Stephen A. Smith might prefer him to take a back seat, the player will be ready for another scoring outburst.

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