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#pounditSunday, June 16, 2024

Jalen Brunson offers passionate defense of Tom Thibodeau after Game 7 loss

Jalen Brunson talks with the media

May 18, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) participates in a press conference after game one of the 2022 western conference finals against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has gotten a lot of heat for how his team’s season crashed and burned. On Sunday, Jalen Brunson made sure to shield his coach from any criticism.

The Knicks lost 130-109 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y.

The Knicks had already been dealing with several injuries entering Sunday’s contest. The Knicks’ health hit its nadir during Game 7.

OG Anunoby only managed to play five minutes in the contest before exiting due to a hamstring issue. Brunson, who had the highest usage rating of any player in the second round, suffered a serious injury and did not finish the game.

Thibodeau seemingly reinforced his reputation as a coach who runs his players to the ground. But during Brunson’s postgame press conference, the All-Star guard put his support completely behind the veteran coach.

“I think [Tom Thibodeau] has the same mindset we do as a team. Thibs is the reason why we have that mindset. Thibs is the reason why, night in and night out, we fight to the best of our abilities,” said Brunson.

“We don’t really care what people on the outside think of us. We don’t care what people say — positive or negative. We go forward with what we believe is the best course of action inside this building, inside the organization. … Players in that locker room have his back no matter what.”

Brunson scored 17 points on 6/17 shooting from the field across 29 minutes before his injury ultimately forced him off the floor.

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