The Knicks' Villanova trio has matched a 74-year NBA record
New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) reacts with guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) after scoring against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half of game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks' Villanova trio has matched a 74-year NBA record

The Knicks' ongoing postseason success can be largely attributed to the on-court chemistry between Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart, all of whom played an equally critical role in helping Villanova win the 2016 NCAA title. 

While the trio's transition from college to the pros isn't unprecedented, they've matched a feat not accomplished by three or more teammates in 74 years, per statistician Greg Harvey. 

By winning their first-round playoff series against the Sixers, the trio matched the record set by the five-man lineup of Cliff Barker, Ralph Beard, Alex Groza, Joe Holland and Wah Wah Jones, who won the 1948 NCAA title for Kentucky and won a playoff series for the Indianapolis Olympians in 1950. In fact, four of those players won two NCAA titles together before achieving success in the NBA.

After the Knicks eliminated the Sixers at Wells Fargo Arena, where Villanova plays some of its home games, Brunson admitted that the victory meant more due to the history involved.

The ongoing playoffs mark the first instance of Brunson, DiVincenzo and Hart playing as teammates in an NBA postseason. While DiVincenzo signed with the Knicks as a free agent last summer, Hart was acquired via trade from the Blazers during the Feb. 8 trade deadline in 2023.

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