Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings takes a lot of flack for his style of play. Whether it was turnovers, taking too many bad shots, or putrid court vision, Piston fans have been vocal about the issues his play presents.
Despite that fact, there is no doubt that he has had his moments where he shined on the basketball court.
Particularly in the first half of the year.
Detroit’s floor general had the sixth best assist total per game last season.
The NBA, who recently counted down the top ten assists of last season, recognized a play from Jennings against the Phoenix Suns in early January.
The beautiful dime was a skip pass on the fast break through two defenders and into the paint where Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished a wide open layup.
It’s plays like those that will determine whether Jennings will start next season under Stan Van Gundy next season.
It’s been well documented just how impressive Jennings can be and how fast his game can change for the worst in the same game. SVG will demand consistency from his point guard next season and if Jennings doesn’t provide it — it’ll be the next in line getting a crack at it.
As CBS Sports’ Matt Moore pointed out after watching over 700 of Brandon Jennings’ possessions last year.
That’s right, Jennings spent less time in ISO, and passed more often than he did the season before when he was in those sets. He passed nearly 5 percent more out of the pick-and-roll. All of this led to the highest rate of assists (8.0 assists per 36 minutes and 34.4 percent of all possessions) of Jennings’ career.
And when he made those passes, man, was he good. Jennings is a gifted passer to moving teammates. That takes unique vision. He hits cutting players in stride, finds gaps in the defense when he loops underneath to give his bigs easy dunks, and looks for the corner shooter, especially in transition.
Which is why it’s so maddening when you look at how often he shoots, and, as noted in the chart above, that when he does shoot, he actually managed to take more shots while defended than open than in years past. This, more than anything, is what caused my brain to ooze out of my skull and drip onto the floor like Gogurt after watching so many possessions. When Brandon Jennings is making good decisions, which he’s capable of, he’s actually a productive, efficient and talented weapon that makes you want to invest in him.
When he’s diving into the bad-decisions pool like Scrooge McDuck with his gold coins, he makes you want to slam your head against the wall until things go dark.
Pistons fans are hoping that it’s during his sixth year in the NBA that he starts eliminating the negative aspects of his game that experts once believed he’d eventually grow out of.