Boston Celtics reporter compares Jalen Brunson to Isaiah Thomas and 2023-2024 Knicks to 2016-17 Cs

May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) handles the ball
May 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) handles the ball / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic's Jay King compared Jalen Brunson to Isaiah Thomas in a larger comparison of the 2023-24 New York Knicks to the 2016-17 Boston Celtics after NY came away with a 130-121 Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Madison Square Garden.

"The Knicks are a lot like the 2017 Celtics," King prefaced before saying, "Brunson doesn’t play just like Isaiah Thomas, but can’t be defended by any one player, leads with his heart and never stops attacking. Knicks, like the Celtics then, have a whole bunch of gritty role players around their little lefty who play with a chip on their shoulder and think they can beat anyone. They probably have a ceiling, but mannnnn have they been all sorts of fun so far. And they’re somehow doing it while falling apart physically."

If King's comparison fully manifests, the Knicks are due for a swift elimination in the Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas didn't make it to Game 3, 4, or 5, injuring his hip after Game 2. Brunson is still healthy, but the Knicks lost their version of Jae Crowder, OG Anunoby, with a hamstring issue and he may not return for the rest of the postseason.

OG Anunoby was seen as reason Knicks were top threat to Boston Celtics in east

Bleacher Report's Dan Favale believed the Celtics' biggest threat was the Knicks because of Anunoby. Without OG, one has to wonder if NY has the talent to contain Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown over a seven-game series.

With the Knicks hobbling into the Eastern Conference Finals, if they can even get past the Pacers two more times, and the Denver Nuggets seemingly struggling to make it to the Western Conference Finals, it appears as though the previously held narratives about the Celtics' path to Banner 18 are obsolete.

Don't sleep on the OKC Thunder or Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite what Boston radio hosts might say, winning the 2024 Finals will not be a cakewalk for the Cs under any circumstances.