I New York Knicks HAVE HAPPENED Cleveland in Game 1 of the first round of the Playoffs, winning 97-101.
Among the most interesting direct comparisons is the one between Jalen Brunson (27 with 11/24 from the field) and the Cavs’ defensive specialist, Isaac Okoro. The latter did not have very kind words for the opponent, accused of accentuating too many contacts with “theatrics and antics” to earn trips to the lunette. Expedients that did not seem to have worked in Game 1 anyway, as Brunson shot four free throws.
These are Okoro’s words.
We defended well against him, trying not to send him to the lunette and not taking the bait in the feints and antics he makes. In these cases we have to stay focused and talk to the referees to explain what antics can mislead them. For example, I am referring to those falls even when there are not such strong contacts, so many little things that serve to get fouls whistled in their favor. Today there are so many players trying, the defenders have to be smart.
Statements that will surely have reached Brunson’s ears and further ignite a very interesting challenge within a challenge. We will see what happens between Okoro and Brunson tonight in Game 2.