Friday night produced quite a sepctacle between the New York Knicks and the Portland Trail Blazers. The game needed an extra period to decide a winner in what turned out to be a thrilling encounter. Unfortunately for the Knicks, it was the Blazers that emerged victorious in overtime, 132-129.
It was a hard-fought battle for Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups and his squad. It was also an opportunity for the Portland shot-caller to see new Knicks star Jalen Brunson bust out in another eyebrow-raising performance for his team.
For his part, Billups had nothing but praise for Brunson, who the former admits sort of reminds him of himself during his playing days:
“He does it from the neck up, man,” Billups said, via Stefan Bondy of the SunHerald. “He’s not physically faster or can jump higher. He’s just really smart. Gets it done with his angles. His pump fakes. He just gets it done and plays the game with his neck up. Tough as nails.
“We were different players but I also tried to play the game with my mind. I wasn’t that fast. I was stronger than most guys. But I wasn’t that fast. I couldn’t jump. But I had to find an advantage somewhere. And that’s what he’s done.”
Jalen Brunson led the charge for Knicks on Friday, scoring a team-high 32 points against the Blazers. Billups was clearly impressed with New York’s offseason star signing, particularly with his toughness and caftiness — two features that Billups himself thrived with during his time in the NBA.