This was on the MSG postgame show after the Knicks and the refs beat the Pacers in Game 1:

“Allen Iverson was great, Jalen Brunson’s playing better. I’m telling you, this run he is on, what he is doing, with the efficiency he is doing, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

To be fair, the story is not yet complete, so until the Knicks exit the playoffs or win it all, we can’t make any kind of real determination on who had the better postseason run. Brunson is currently averaging 35.5 points, 9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds through seven games while shooting 44.3% from the floor, 30% from three, and 81.8% from the foul line. A.I finished his run with 32.9 PPG, 6.1 assists, and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 38.9/33.8/77.4. A.I. took 30 shots per game and Brunson is averaging 29. Both had about 3 turnovers per game but Iverson always logged a couple of steals, which Brunson doesn’t really do. They’ve both played a ton of minutes, upward of 40+ on average.

It’s actually pretty close when you look at the raw numbers, but this Knicks team is better than that Sixers team. The reason Iverson took 30 shots per game is that there was no other scorer. The Sixers didn’t have a second option. Yeah, Aaron McKie would get his 12-18 points, and Dikembe Mutombo was good for a double double on the regular, but nobody else averaged more than 10 PPG or provided a reliable bucket. Did Brunson score 43 in Game 1 against Indy? Yeah, but they also got 24 from Josh Hart and 25 from Donte DiVincenzo. Throw in OG Anunoby and a serviceable big in Hartenstein and it’s easily a better supporting cast than what Iverson had more than 20 years ago.

This current story remains unfinished, but everybody who was alive back then knows that A.I. carried a team that had no business going to the finals. This Knicks squad isn’t that. They have a superstar guard, but roster spots two through six provide much more support than what McKie, Eric Snow, George Lynch, Jumaine Jones, and Tyrone Hill were providing. That’s why Iverson’s run is special, because he dragged a bunch of role players to the top.

EDIT – I do want to make a point that while yes, the Sixers were the #1 seed that year, the west was so much better than the east. The west had seven 50+ win teams in the playoffs and the east had three. Boston and Chicago were down and there was quite a bit of meh beyond the Sixers, Bucks, and Raptors.