Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News recently wrote an article called “Brandon Knight: I’m best man for Pistons’ point guard job.” That’s not a direct quote from Knight, and newspaper reporters rarely write their own headlines, so it’s unlikely Goodwill – the person who presumably interviewed Knight – decided on that paraphrasing.
So, it’s unclear exactly what Knight said.
We have this paraphrasing from Goodwill:
In his mind, Knight believes there’s no better point guard for the job than the one the Pistons selected two years earlier
And this setup and quote:
Knight said it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out his situation, that the “he’s not a point guard” chapter on his career shouldn’t yet be finalized.
“If you think about it using common sense,” said Knight, who averaged four assists and shot 37 percent from 3-point range last season. “First year (2011-12) was a lockout, didn’t have that summer. Next year, played half the year (at point guard). I pretty much played it for a full year. Some of the best point guards don’t take a year to develop into what they are. They are given an opportunity to develop. Using common sense, I played it (around) 80 games.”
It seems like the question was a variation of, “Should the Pistons give up on you as a point guard?” And if that’s the case, the answer is of course no. Knight offers more value if he develops as a point guard than a shooting guard, and he might be the Pistons’ best point guard right now.
But if the question was a variation of, “Are you a good point guard?” Knight’s arguments has flaws. Nearly everyone who has stuck as a starting point guard in the NBA has produced better in their first 80 games at the position, and it’s not like Knight is the first player to face challenges.
Back to the article’s headline, does Knight think he’s the Pistons’ best point guard? I don’t think the article says clearly, but that doesn’t matter.
Of course he does.
Knight should have that confidence, and that will help him, but that alone won’t get the job done.
I’d be very disappointed if the Pistons enter the season with only Knight, Stuckey and Bynum as their point guards. Knight has proven he can beat those two for the starting job – whether it’s truly an open competition is another question – but he hasn’t proven he’s a worthwhile starting point guard.
It’s possible Knight makes the leap necessary for him to be a successful starting point guard, but again winning the job over those two gives next to no indication Knight has dramatically improved. Beating a better alternative would do that, and it would give Detroit a viable option if Knight hasn’t jumped forward.