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Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks - Game Four

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After over a decade of disgust, despair, and disappointment, New York Knicks fans are finally able to celebrate a winning team as last night (April 26) the New York Knickerbockers advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs for only the second time this century.

Last night (April 26), New Yorkers celebrated like the Knicks had officially won the NBA title after Jalen Brunson led the team to a 106-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers—in the process advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time in a decade. The surprising win comes in the same year that Knicks fans were upset that the team failed to land Donovan Mitchell due to their reluctance to include RJ Barrett in a trade package for the superstar guard and instead signed Jalen Brunson to a 4-year/$104 million contract.

Fans and sports analysts clowned the move as Brunson was basically an unknown at the time living in the shadow of Luka Doncic. But not only did Brunson thrive in the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, he outplayed the Cavs superstar point guard, Donovan Mitchell for most of the first round. Speaking to ESPN, the Knicks point guard who fans now refer to as “HIM” knows just how special the moment is for the team and the city as his father, Rick Brunson, played a few seasons in the Garden himself.

“It’s a really cool experience knowing that my dad played here — he was on that team that got to the Finals,” Brunson said, referring to the 1998-99 team. “It’s special. The connection that me and my dad have, everything, all the full circle, it’s really special.”

While many Knick fans still feel RJ Barrett should’ve been shipped out for Donovan “Spider” Mitchell (especially after having the struggle year he had), the third year shooting guard finally found his footing in the playoffs and contributed to last night’s win with 21 points.

Now that the Knicks have made it out the first round they’ll be reigniting an old rivalry as the Miami Heat have pulled off a surprise of their own by eliminating the number 1 seed in the Milwaukee Bucks and punching their ticket to Madison Square Garden for a second round showdown this Sunday (April 30). While the team will no doubt be ready for Playoff Jimmy Butler and company, the team might be shorthanded as their All-Star Power Forward, Julius Randle re-injured the ankle that kept him off the floor in the final weeks of the NBA season.

Thibodeau said Randle will be reevaluated on Thursday. Randle was in the Knicks’ locker room icing his ankle after the win.

“It starts with holding each other accountable, from the coaching staff to the players,” Brunson said of the Knicks stepping up when a player goes down with an injury. “I think we all trust each other, most importantly, and we get to the point where we have situations like that and things aren’t going according to plan, and we find a way to tough it out and keep moving forward and try not to miss a beat.”

Prayers up for Julius Randle and the New York Knicks as they might need it with Playoff Jimmy looking like Jimmy Jordan out in Miami.