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Jalen Brunson ‘pissed off’ by narrative that Knicks lost Pacers series because of injuries

There were plenty of reasons the Knicks blew a 2-0 series lead in their second-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers, but one of the biggest ones people pointed to was their battle with the injury bug.

Already down All-Star forward Julius Randle to season-ending shoulder surgery, the Knicks lost big man Mitchell Robinson, star two-way talent OG Anunoby, and sharp shooting Bojan Bogdanovic during their postseason run.

That’s a lot of talent sidelined and it doesn’t even include Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Isaiah Hartenstein who were all hampered by their issues of their own but were able to play through the pain. 

New York overcame those issues throughout the series and had a chance to advance to take on the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, but in the end, they ultimately fell just short as their season came to an end disappointingly on their home court.

Anunoby returned for just five minutes in Game 7 but was quickly ruled out, Hart was limited by his abdomen injury, and Brunson ended up leaving in the fourth quarter with a sprained wrist in what ended up being a double-digit loss. 

While some may feel that those lingering issues and prolonged absences are a reasonable explanation as to why the Knicks’ championship hopes were cut short, their All-Star point guard disagrees. 

“I hate the narrative,” Brunson said on the Roomates Show. “Honestly, that kind of pissed me off. Yeah, we didn’t have a full team but I don’t want the narrative being ‘Oh they’re hurt so let’s give them a pass.’ No, we had chances to win that series and didn’t.

“I just hate the fact that sometimes people give us the fact that we were injured or injuries happen. Like yeah, they're part of the game but that's not the reason we lost, we had chances to win, we were winning with those injuries.”

One of the plays in particular that Brunson seemed to be harping on as a key turning point in the series was Andrew Nembhard’s luck chuck 31-foot three which broke a tie late in Game 3.

If New York was able to pull out a road victory there, they would've taken a commanding 3-0 series lead, needing just one more win over the next four games to advance. However, as things went, Indiana came storming right back and they ultimately fell short of their goal. 

With their stars back healthy and a pissed-off and determined Brunson leading the charge next season, perhaps the Knicks will be able to make an even deeper postseason run.