Piston of the Week: Brandon Knight


Piston of the Week (1/27/2013 – 2/2/2013): Brandon Knight

17 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and just 2.3 turnovers per game with a 54 3-point percentage

Let’s be honest, for two games this week — Sunday against Orlando and Friday against Cleveland — the Pistons were really, really impressive on the offensive end. Not surprisingly, those were the two games the team won, heck, the two games the team was competitive in.

Part of that was the level of competition of course, they were just flat out-played by Milwaukee and Indiana, but the other part of their success was the play of Brandon Knight, who, by the way, is on seemingly every PistonPowered commenter’s trade block these days.

At this point, these Pistons are aren’t a garbage team, they’re more of a mediocre one, which means you have to penalize guys who really show out in blowouts (sorry, Andre Drummond) and reward the catalysts in a win.

Knight’s week was both exciting and puzzling. On one side, we saw the sometimes-invisible guard who doesn’t seem to want to shoot and doesn’t recognize how to pass the ball without subsequently turning it over. Then on Friday, we saw a guy who looked like a more than capable point guard, albeit against Cleveland, a team he historically torches due to having some sort of “HOW COULD YOU DRAFT ALL-STAR KYRIE IRVING OVER ME?” chip on his shoulder.

What was really impressive, though, was the fact that he was truly aggressive on offense in both of the wins. Against Cleveland it was mostly him creating for teammates, but he was active without the ball and seemed more determined than he has been in a long time to try to get to the hole and score inside and out. That’s what made him so good in college at Kentucky — it wasn’t him being the purest of point guards.

Sunday against Orlando was a different story. Knight appeared to have no inclination to play point guard, and all off the inclination of scoring. I wrote it earlier this week, but when Knight has shots created for himself — the kind of open looks Will Bynum created for him on Sunday — he’s a really effective off-ball scorer. When he’s the primary ball-handler, he tends to dribble too much and when he gets in trouble and has nowhere to pass, he’ll throw up a loooong 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock.

That’s a common thing for young guards, but Brandon Knight had two really good games this week and they were good for completely different reasons. One was the point guard every fan wished he was against the Cavs and against the Magic, he was the shooting guard Joe Dumars and Lawrence Frank hope he’ll be the rest of this season.

It’s yet to be seen if Knight can mix-and-match both of those efforts in the same game, but maybe having a distributor like Jose Calderon around will help him balance that out.

Or maybe he just needs to play the Cavs every game, who knows?

Past Winners