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Brandon Knight blames Pistons for his low assist total

Oct 10, 2013, 12:30 PM EST

Brandon Knight

Brandon Jennings, now the the Pistons’ point guard, blamed the Bucks for his subpar shooting percentage.

Now, Brandon Knight, the player traded for Jennings, is bringing it full circle by blaming the Pistons for his subpar assist numbers.

(As you’ll see, Knight says he’s not blaming anyone. But when you start a sentence, “I’m not trying to blame anybody, but,” you’re blaming someone 100 percent of the time).

Gery Woelfel of RacineSportsZone.com:

Knight averaged a mere four assists a game while playing for the Detroit Pistons last season. That tied him for 38th place in the NBA. Not good.

But Knight insists that stat is rather deceiving.

“I’m not trying to blame anybody,” Knight said while carefully choosing his words. “But the team we had … It was a tough situation.

“When you have shooters, it’s easy to get assists because they’re going to knock down open shots. We had, maybe, one (Kyle Singler) knock-down shooter.

“And I didn’t have any bigs who could stop and pop. The only one we had was Charlie Villanueva and he didn’t play much. And, when he did play, he was with the second unit so I wasn’t playing much with him.”

Assists come from running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond (60.8 percent shooter last season), but Knight couldn’t do that consistently.

Assists come from throwing entry passes to Greg Monroe (48.6 percent shooter last season), but Knight couldn’t do that consistently.

Assists come from driving and kicking to Jose Calderon (52.7 percent shooter with the Pistons last season), but Knight couldn’t do that consistently.

The Pistons didn’t have a good offense last season, and that’s not all Knight’s fault. But there were enough players other than Singler and Villanueva capable of turning Knight’s passes into baskets.

Woelfel:

But that wasn’t the sole reason, Knight says, for his subpar assist numbers last season. He points out that, contrary to public perception, he wasn’t strictly a point guard. He also spent a considerable amount of time at the shooting guard spot.

“In the first half of the season, I was playing the point guard position; in the second half, I played off the ball,” said the 21-year-old Knight, whom the Bucks acquired July 30 from the Pistons in a trade for disgruntled Brandon Jennings. “So, of course, my assists are going to go down. A lot of people outside looking in … they look at the stats. But a lot of them didn’t know that.

This is a chicken-or-the-egg argument. From my perspective, the Pistons shifted Knight off the ball (by trading for Calderon) because Knight couldn’t handle full-time point-guard duties.

I don’t think Knight is an unwilling passer. I think he was an incapable passer. He just didn’t see the floor well enough the last two seasons to justify leading an NBA offense.

Knight, 21, is still young, and he can improve. It seems the Bucks support him and will make him their starting point guard. It could work, but it would mean Knight has improved as a passer – not just gotten a new set of teammates.

  1. bougin89 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    I’m not exactly a huge fan of Knight but I’m happy with the Jennings trade. If Knight doesn’t show improvement as a true point guard we aren’t tied to him financially. If he gets minutes learning on the job and fails we get a better draft pick.

  2. senorpapino - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Knight has a few things working against him. He can’t run an NBA offense at the point, but he isn’t an effective starting 2 guard either (shoots 41% from the floor and doesn’t get to the free throw line). I think best case scenario, he could become a Jason Terry-lite who provides scoring and shooting for a team’s 2nd unit.

    • bougin89 - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      He definitely has a ways to go before he can be considered a good(and I’m not saying elite, just good/decent level) point guard but I wouldn’t totally write him off that he can’t play the point yet. He’s 21 years old but he’ll need to mature quite a bit. Having the “I only averaged 4 apg because of my teammates” attitude won’t get him anywhere.

  3. johngalt1783 - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Monroe and Drummond has a combine FG% from beyond 3 feet of about 35%

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      You can still pass it to them when they’re inside 3 feet. There isn’t a force field surrounding the restricted area.

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