East Notes: Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Magic, Nets

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Knicks

While the Knicks are off to an up-and-down start, new acquisition Jalen Brunson appears to be the answer to their longtime questions at point guard.

“The leadership, I think point guard is a leadership position, and it helps you to manage and control the team,” coach Tom Thibodeau said, via Peter Botte of the New York Post. “I think Jalen is so team-oriented, I think it makes your team play unselfishly. I think we’re scoring a lot of points, and he gives us an attack, a pace to the game, downhill, guys are playing off each other.

“And if you move and you’re open on a cut, he’s gonna hit you. He wants to get the ball up the floor fast and when we do that, I think it presents a lot of easy scoring opportunities for everybody.” 

Magic

Guard Markelle Fultz could make his season debut for Sunday’s game vs. the 76ers, per Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel.

Fultz suffered a fractured big toe before the season, adding to an injury-plagued early career — as he has appeared in 19 games in just one season thus far. He was originally selected by the 76ers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Fultz, 24, is 6-foot-3 and carries career averages of 10.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 131 total games.

His looming return is the latest example that the Magic are slowly but surely getting healthy.

Nets

  • Forward Yuta Watanabe (hamstring) will remain out for the Nets’ game Sunday vs. the Trail Blazers, via Nick Freidell of ESPN.
  • Watanabe recently drew high praise from star point guard Kyrie Irving, though. “He’s the best shooter in the world right now,” Irving told reporters. “The stats prove it. He’s the best shooter in the best league in the world right now.”

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