Oct 10, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
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).
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.
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.
Apr 19, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT
Roy Hibbert wasn’t good in Game 1 against the Hawks, and this play epitomized his performance.
Apr 19, 2014, 10:01 PM EDT
The eight-seed Hawks blowout the Pacers in Game 1.
Apr 19, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
Blake Griffin totally did this on purpose.
Apr 19, 2014, 7:12 PM EDT
Warriors steal Game 1 in Los Angeles.
Apr 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
It looked good as soon as it left his hands.
Apr 19, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT
Playoff games are played in the halfcourt and the Nets owned that in Game 1.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT
A rare and raw show of emotion from a team’s GM was caught on camera.
Nash to Nowitzki: ‘What would you do if you were me? Would you come back?’ Dirk: ‘I’m not sure, bro.’ (VIDEO)
Apr 19, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
Dirk Nowizki is brutally honest.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
“Garnett and Pierce are so old the Raptor had to ask his dad about them.”
Apr 19, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Words continue to be exchanged between two teams that clearly don’t like each other.
Apr 19, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT
The owners are behind Silver’s effort to raise the age limit. Now there’s just the pesky matter of negotiating with the players’ union.
Apr 19, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
You can construct a scenario where the Pacers are in trouble… except they play the Hawks.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:15 AM EDT
Making your playoff preview reading convenient.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:54 AM EDT
Grizzlies’ guard will definitely be missed in the rotation.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:50 AM EDT
We may not see him on the sidelines of TNT games these playoffs.
Apr 18, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT
This should be the East’s most competitive first round matchup.
Apr 18, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT
How quickly can Miami flip the switch?
Apr 18, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT
Can the Pacers regain their early-season swagger now that the playoffs are here?
Apr 18, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
Expect a fight by the end of Game 2.
Apr 18, 2014, 5:50 PM EDT
People shouldn’t sleep on the Raptors, particularly the Nets.