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David Thorpe: Brandon Knight should study Deron Williams

In one my favorite features, David Thorpe of ESPN gives rookies other NBA players to study. For Brandon Knight, Thorpe chose Deron Williams:

There are two kinds of point guards in the NBA, natural ones and ones that had to be taught how to play the position. Despite what you might think, neither has an advantage over the other. Knight is not a natural point guard. He sees the bucket and scoring chances for himself more than anything else, which is only a bad thing if he never learns how to play as a true point guard. Williams, on the other hand, can control the action while sprinkling in his scoring when necessary. And when he needs to be a bucket getter, it’s also a very natural thing for him.

If Knight can learn the craft of being a point guard, he’ll become an excellent player, because at some point in the next few seasons he’s going to be able to score efficiently. I also think he can learn to use his size better, as Williams does when he hammers smaller guys in the paint off cuts.

15 Comments

  • Apr 14, 20125:37 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I;ve said since the draft that if there’s a PG Knight reminds me of its Deron. In terms of his size, speeding, and shooting.

    • Apr 14, 20125:40 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      They just look the same in their same kind of shifty movements on the court.

  • Apr 14, 20127:38 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    Personally, I would say study Isaiah Thomas.

    • Apr 14, 201211:50 pm
      by Mike Payne

      Reply

      I lol’d and agree’d.  It’s sad when the 60th pick is a better point guard than the 8th pick.

  • Apr 14, 20128:49 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Heck, he could learn a ton by studying up on all sorts of guys int he league right now: Paul, Nash, Kidd, Rondo, Williams, Westbrook, Rose, Parker, etc.

  • Apr 14, 201210:32 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    i agree about david thorpe.. i even thought BK is Deron Williams 2.0

  • Apr 14, 201211:49 pm
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    The difference between Williams and Knight is that Williams exhibited the ability to run an offense in college.  He was much more of a pure point player than Knight was, more than doubly so (in terms of assists vs. attempts).  It’s unfortunate for the Pistons that even Ben Gordon was more similar to Deron Williams in college than Brandon Knight was…
     
    As it relates to Thorpe’s story, Deron Williams is absolutely not the type of player that needed to be taught how to play point guard.  Placing Knight even close to the same category as Williams is analytically blind.

    • Apr 19, 20124:20 am
      by domnick

      Reply

      i think their styles are related… i think BK will be the next D-will 2.0

  • Apr 14, 201211:56 pm
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    I rather have Knight watch Westbrook…wishful thinking

  • Apr 15, 201212:02 am
    by zach b

    Reply

    chauncey was never a good point gaurd, other than scoring, before he came to detroit with larry brown coaching him. im not worried about knight right now, hes like 20…

    • Apr 15, 20128:21 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      People have gotta stop comparing young PGs to Billups. Yeah, there is the occasional player who really turns things around. But most of the time, when players look mediocre early on, it’s because they are. I still have high hopes for Knight. But they’re on account of his flashes of brilliance not because there was once upon a time a PG who started not too great but got really good later on.

      You know how you can tell that a Billups-esque turnaround is so rare? Because everyone refers to Billups when they suggest it could happen. If it were really very plausible, there would be many other names to drop and Billups would just be one case occasionally mentioned.

      • Apr 15, 20121:34 pm
        by Lorenzo

        Reply

        Tarsier, while I agree the Chauncey case is a rarity I think the gist of the argument is that it tends to take some time before point guards blossom—if they do at all. Since he was part of Thorpe’s piece….take the case of Deron Williams–who was a shoot first guard–undoubtedly had an up and down first season before breaking out. Some others abet with different styles took yet longer…ala Rondo, Lawson,Holiday, Lowry. I’m still not sold on Knight either, it would have been much more encouraging to see him have a rookie season comparable to a Irving, Wall, Rose, Paul, or Westbrook…but I suppose that’s the reason a few of those guys were top overall picks and Knight was not. Unfortunately at the time we don’t really have any option other than being patient with the kid.

        • Apr 15, 20122:50 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Yes most players picked in the top few are good pretty much right away. Most that are taken later aren’t. Many of them take some time to blossom (I don’t think taht’s any more true of PGs than any other position). And Knight is way too early in his career to write off. I like the examples you provided, because that is more like what is typical. Guys may take a couple years to really hit their stride. But they don’t go about 5 years amounting to very little and then suddenly turn into all-star caliber players. Such a Billups case is exceedingly rare.

        • Apr 16, 201211:01 pm
          by leveltheone

          Reply

          lol…no choice to be patient with a rookie who played one year of college basketball and no summerleague….smh we compare stars way too much. Irving is a different kind of PG , knight is even in a different situation he isnt the main ball handler, that would be stuckey, sometime knight is a spot up shooter. next year this will become more of knights team and also the pistins dont have any shooters or athletes on the team. give the kid a break

  • Apr 16, 201210:11 pm
    by leveltheone

    Reply

    knight doesnt get enough credit for his durability and stamina…….. he has started more games than any other rookie and he has played more minutes than any other rookie…. he has transitioned between playing pg,sg,combo guard and no his doesnt have alot of steals but he plays solid defense. very underrated rookie year

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