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Brandon Knight has his best performance of the summer league

Brandon Knight hadn’t had a great summer league up until today, but he turned that around with 19 points and 14 assists today. Here is how Evan Dunlap of SB Nation described his performance:

Knight played arguably the best game of any point guard this week, finishing with 19 points and 14 assists. He set the tone for Detroit early by pushing the pace, and he made great reads out of the pick-and-roll. His ability to scramble Boston’s defense, and either find an open shooter or get his own shot, keyed Detroit to victory.

We can live with that, right? I’ve read a handful of comments this week from people underwhelmed with Knight’s … well … underwhelming performance in Orlando. I’m not too concerned about it tough.

We all know that the biggest areas Knight needs to improve in his game are point guard related — how to run an offense, how to play under control, how to create shots for others, how to take better care of the basketball. Those skills are not particularly conducive to summer league basketball. He’s playing with mostly players who are unfamiliar with Detroit’s offense and several players who won’t make the Pistons’ roster, so they’re trying to use this opportunity to showcase their individual talents to other teams. I’ve been encouraged because Knight has seemed to pass more, he has seemed to really be trying to run some semblance of an offense, it’s just the chaotic nature of summer league ball hampers those efforts. For example, in yesterday’s game, he made at least two passes to a correct spot, his teammate just happened to not get to that spot. So instead of assists or at the very least plays that would’ve resulted in good ball movement or an open shot for someone, they were turnovers.

It would’ve been great to see Knight dominate the summer league, but the fact that he hasn’t should be a cause for concern either. We’ll have a better feel for where he’s at after training camp and in the preseason.

37 Comments

  • Jul 12, 20122:55 pm
    by pokerpro932

    Reply

    I dont think he is even trying to dominate the summer league.In my oppinion he is doing the best he can of helping the other players showcase their skills.I have that feeling about Knight that I cant find about Day- Knight is just ousing leadership and calmness.I mean,when he gets the ball he is calm and collective and even if he does not make the right decision,he is doing it with confidence.Even though he is only 20-21 years old,he is better than the others and the important thing is that he knows that.Thats what I like about him.
    Also Drummond is doing a lot of stuff right,and the interesting thing is that his baskets seem to come off of fingerrolls and fade aways,not of dunks.I find that funny,but I think that all those missed dunks are not because he has bad hands,the opposite-his hands are great,but he is real nervous and keeps underestimating himself.He could easily jump over the D if he believed in himself.This confidence will come with time though,so Im not really worried.My point is,dont give him too much credit with those 10 points he is posting,he wont hit that many jumpers regulary. :)

    Once again,sorry if I had any spelling mistakes,cheers from Bulgaria,from a die hard Piston fan since 2008,not that oldschool :)

  • Jul 12, 20123:07 pm
    by Steve W

    Reply

    for all of the doggin on knight, he is leading the summer league in assists

    • Jul 12, 20123:22 pm
      by Brendon

      Reply

      ya 7.3 assists per game is great, but also 4 TO’s a game. I think Knight will play better when he gets to the regular season where his teamates aren’t part of some of those turnovers.

      • Jul 12, 20123:55 pm
        by Mark

        Reply

        TO’s for a young PG are like INT’s for a young QB. Its just par for the course as they work their way through their development. If he was having high turnovers and little to no assists, that would be cause for concern. Like a young QB who never throws TD’s but has a bunch of INT’s. As long as the positives are outweighing the negative, or at least even, thats what you want see. Him leading the SL with 7.3 asts makes the 4 TO’s a non-issue imo.

        ppl need to remember he’s in Summer League to work on his game too, not just to mentor rookies. He’s only 20 yrs old and technically still a rookie himself, until next season starts. It will be great if he finishes strong tomorrow and leaves ORL as the assists leader for the week. That would be accomplishing exactly what you wanted to see from him, in terms of growing as a PG.

        • Jul 12, 20124:17 pm
          by Brendon

          Reply

          Ya I know, I’m not worried about Knight really, I just wanted to point out he’s not completely perfect and still needs to work a little on his game

          • Jul 12, 20129:40 pm
            by gerdz10

            “I just wanted to point out he’s not completely perfect and still needs to work a little on his game” That’s why he is in the summer league :)

  • Jul 12, 20123:36 pm
    by Jinzzy

    Reply

    has any one seen the latest rumour from espn
    Amnesty ruled out for Villanueva
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wtf

    • Jul 12, 20128:55 pm
      by Jack

      Reply

      It makes more sense to amnesty him next off season as doing it then will put the Pistons 20 mil under the cap.  Whereas doing it this off season wont help because the Pistons would still be on the books enough to be above the cap.  And since he has not turned into a headache in the locker room as Patrick Hayes states it is better to wait till next off season.  But it will definitely happen then.

    • Jul 12, 201211:03 pm
      by Vince

      Reply

      http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=844f5fe < Maybe CV can still be of use, Raptors have made their intentions on trading Calderon clear.

  • Jul 12, 20123:43 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    I actually think this could be a very critical stage in BK’s development. When you have a skill that is really in you, it should come out no matter the situation. The worse yur teammates are the better you have to be to compensate for them.

    BK has never really been a pass first PG from what I can see. So I’m slightly Bullish that this is a skill that he is actually Gaining.

  • Jul 12, 20123:47 pm
    by MNM

    Reply

    I’ve read a few comments on here about how underwhelmed that some have been with Knight as a point gaurd since he was drafted and it seems that the measuring stick more times than not is Chauncey Billups. People tend to forget that Chauncey had been around, (first with Boston as a rookie for like 3 months), bouncing from team to team for 5 years as a “journey man” before signing with Detroit. And it wasn’t until his 2nd year on the team, when Larry Brown got here, that he became this point guard that we all tend to revere. So it’s a bit unfair what some people expect from Brandon, who didn’t turn 20 years old until his 2nd month in the league in a condenced/shortened season.. Give him time.. We as fans and this organization doesn’t really have much of a choice but to do so..

  • Jul 12, 20124:12 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    Way to go Patrick….Positivity!  Gave great insight and no backhanded compliments or slights.  HOWEVER, i have been a little dissapointed in Knight trying to do too much.  I think this is what Tayshaun was talking about in adding a vet pg.  Knight knows what he has to do and how to do it, but just moving to fast.  Where the vet pg can show him how to slow down a lil more and let the game come to him.  I do have great confidnence in knight that he will get because he has the talent, attitude and work ethic.  Just takes time for youngsters in basketball and real life.  Great to see his assists up as well, with the way he’s playing i think 7asts per game should be the bottom goal this year!  dettroittt basskettballll!!

    • Jul 12, 20124:25 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      It’s not about being positive or negative. The reason people read what I write and read this site is because Dan and I tell the truth as we see it. Our analysis is honest. It’s not always right, but we will always give our honest interpretation, and that’s why readers for the most part check this site regularly. Lately, over the last three years or so, there has been far more negative than positive with this team. That’s not an effort on my or Dan’s or anyone else’s part to be negative. It’s a product of the reality of the situation.

      If you are interested in a wholly positive, flowery, critical thinking free version of Pistons analysis, that just isn’t what we will do here.

      • Jul 12, 20124:33 pm
        by labatts

        Reply

        +1 on why I read.

      • Jul 12, 20124:50 pm
        by Alex

        Reply

        Interpretation: If you want to read homeristic bullshit about the Pistons, go to http://www.nba.com/pistons

        • Jul 12, 20125:07 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          LOL. No comment.

        • Jul 13, 20128:11 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          You mean Langlois is biased? Really?!?!?! I though he was the epitome of honest analysis. (sarcasm)

      • Jul 12, 20126:51 pm
        by Bugsygod

        Reply

        A big negative aspect of trading tayshsun would be losing a lot of late game decision making. I think it would be hard to trade him this year as we should be in a lot of close games, that vet experience will be needed, not sure knight, stucky, monroe are ready for that yet. So i think we are goin to need that playoff veteran experience. His 7mil contract is really reasonable considering what some of these players are getting this summer and for what he brings to the table. <—- that is why I come to this site to talk about pistons basketball. Alot ppl who comment have great thoughts an different ideas, I love I lively debate! Can't wait for the season to start! We are a young talented hungry team. The coaching seems to be great. The ownership continues to spend $ on the team an arena, Gores seems really engaged. Dumars is able to make moves now. DEEETRROITTT Bassketttballl !

  • Jul 12, 20125:17 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    As much as everyone has lambasted Joe Dumars and called for his head, I think what he’s doing here is pretty smart and sustainable. Creating an environment where you can improve your youngsters in a supportive environment is preferable to playing boom/bust with expensive free agents*. Joe got burned big time on CV / BG and I like to think he learned from the whole debacle and shifted his philosophy accordingly. I don’t think I’m being too naive, and I think optimism about the Pistons for the next few seasons is justified.

    *Large market teams can get away with this in ways that small market teams can’t. Superstars always want to play in LA or NY, and there is a second tier of cities that are also somewhat attractive to big money free agents.

    • Jul 12, 20125:43 pm
      by Tony

      Reply

      I agree. I also look at the way he built this current team. The last time we have been in the playoffs was 3 years ago. By the way this team is looking now, they have a slightly small chance of making it this year and a bigger chance at making it next year. Joe has built this team ALMOST back to playoff contention in the same time span as a team who gets a #1 pick and the best part about it is that we have never recieved a top 5 pick these last 3 years. Joe has done a great job in terms of building a young core with good character guys who can easily make you think they have been in the league for years.

      • Jul 12, 20127:21 pm
        by Aruna

        Reply

        While we have made it back to a (near) playoff team very quickly, I am worried whether we will be able to acquire the talent that will put us over the top.  While I do expect Monroe, Knight and Drummond to continue to get better, I’m not sure I see any of them as a transcendent talent that will propel that nucleus past the superteams.  Maybe I’m wrong and a deep team with all-star but not superstar talent can win like back in 2004, but the rules changes to the league that have allowed offenses easy access to the basket, combined with the otherworldly talent level seen in the NBA today make me think you need that one player who will get theirs and get the superstar calls as well.  Who knows, maybe that player is Monroe and he’s just too smooth for me to see it before it happens.  Regardless, I still trust Joe D to do the job better than I would and when it comes time to make that final push, he’ll find a way to add that final piece, like Sheed in 2004.

      • Jul 13, 20128:17 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Dumars getting the Pistons to “playoff contention” just isn’t a big plus for him. Being in “playoff contention” is crap. That’s like where the Bucks have been for the past few years. It limits your potential for growth and it means even in the good years when you make the playoffs, you’re definitely not a real contender. Unless Dumars can get the Pistons back to real contention, title contention, in the next few years, he will have failed miserably in the post-”going to Work” era.

    • Jul 12, 20125:52 pm
      by labatts

      Reply

      As one who calls for his head, I hope you are right, Crispus.  There is still plenty of time for him to screw it up, though, in the next off-season (or even sooner with some bizarre trade I suppose).  Only time will tell — and I am surprised that he is being given more. but…
      If he did shift focus and laid his plan out for the new owner (Mr. Whatisname), then maybe

      • Jul 12, 20126:31 pm
        by Mark

        Reply

        The Pistons I believe are 5th winningest franchise in history and 5th all-time in # of championship won. None of that would be true if we never had Dumars, as a player and now as a GM. Its mind-boggling that a guy who’s done that much for a franchise and is a HOF’er to boot gets no respect from some fans. You’d think ppl would have more faith/trust in the guy after all he’s done for the franchise. I for one certainly don’t want to see what the Pistons would be like with just Gores running the show and no Dumars. Be thankful you aren’t a Bobcats fan.

        • Jul 12, 20127:05 pm
          by labatts

          Reply

          I’m pretty sure Wayne Fontes holds the record for most wins as a Lions coach.  (as long as we are spouting irrelevant stats).  And yes, they are IRRELEVANT.
           
          Look, Dumars seems to be a great guy, and was a great player.  And I don’t believe in luck (some people think he stumbled into the good team with the trade for Ben Wallace, but not me) so I give credit where credit is due.  And lets be clear — simply because I don’t think he is God’s gift to the job of GM doesn’t mean I am disrespecting him.
           
          But what I won’t do is give blind faith in someone who has a — shall I say “iffy”? — track record after he signed McDyess.  I would really not have to list the mistakes.

          • Jul 12, 201210:34 pm
            by Crispus

            I don’t know whether Detroit is considered a small market team, but I think Joe knows now (after the BG / CV affair) that he has to take a different approach than the other desperate small market teams have done – throwing huge money at midlevel stars. For recent examples see example Roy Hibbert, Jeremy Lin, Nicolas Batum, Omer Asik. Hopefully he’ll cultivate his draft talent better now than he has in the recent past. It seems to be the case with better coaches and happier veterans.

            He’s also the last GM in quite some time to win with a “team” team. The only other franchise that I can think of that cobbled together a competitive playoff team like that is the Nuggets (there are probably more I can’t think of). We had a long period of success, and everyone is bad sometimes (except the Spurs, New England Patriots and Lakers). I think he’s back on the upswing and unless he does something outlandish I think his strategy deserves some time.

        • Jul 13, 20127:54 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          You’re claiming to somehow know that there is no way that the Pistons would have gotten at least one championship in the last almost 15 years if anyone but Dumars was at the helm?

        • Jul 13, 20127:58 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Credit Dumars for putting together a fantastic team that contended for about half a decade. But also credit him for taking that team and running it into the ground with a run of horrible decisions. Not just horrible ones on retrospect, but ones that everyone saw and immediately predicted would turn out about how they did.

    • Jul 12, 201211:49 pm
      by jacob

      Reply

      I was thinking about getting a big name to Detoit basketball earlier. It’s not always about the market, you need a good team and money. Example Red Wings, and now the Tigers and Lions. We got Prince this offseason. So hopefully we have a good year this year and can use our cap space to draw in a good FA next offseason.

  • Jul 12, 20125:38 pm
    by Andrew

    Reply

    I have a theory on Knight’s performance this summer league.  It’s been reported that he has put on 8-10 lbs of muscle since the season ended.  In his “going to work” video on pistons.com he is shown doing dribbling drills.  In stoppages of play during summer league, when he has the ball, he seems to have a habit of doing what look like ball handling tricks or drills quickly before tossing it to a ref.  I think he has been making an effort to improve his ability to get to the rim and finish, and this summer league he has been experimenting with what he can and can not get away with that way.  He’s been over-dribbling because he has been and continues to be working on his handle.  He’s still a very young player, and sometimes fusing additional elements into one’s game isn’t a pretty process.

  • Jul 12, 20125:47 pm
    by DG

    Reply

    What I like seeing about Brandon, is that he seems to be emerging as more of a team leader and thus a point guard on the floor.  It gives me the confidence he can handle that role in the future with the Pistons.

    I also have had a thought about Drummond.  He seems to be very active early in the games and not so much later.  Is the fact that he sems to disappear in games more about physical conditioning than anything else?   When he’s active he looks like one of the best bigs on the floor, especially defensively.  But later in games, he seems to struggle even getting up the court.

    • Jul 12, 20126:47 pm
      by Pistons

      Reply

      Oh I totally agree about Drummond. I’ve noticed the same thing. Whenever he’s been out there more than 7 ish minutes you see him not getting up and down the floor well. It always seems like he’s slow jogging, not because he lacks a motor but because legitimately doesn’t have more stamina. And I really think it hinders him both on offense and defense. Several shots he could’ve jumped for to block but didn’t get down the court in time or didn’t choose to jump.

  • Jul 12, 20127:24 pm
    by Bugsygod

    Reply

    If I had choice I would take Yancy gates over Macklin

  • Jul 13, 20122:05 am
    by TANNER

    Reply

    macklin is go gates will replace him fosho cuz..

  • Jul 13, 20122:08 am
    by TANNER

    Reply

    macklin is gone cuz.!!! gates will replace him

  • Jul 13, 20129:49 am
    by Aaron

    Reply

    DRe is young.  LEt him get coached and conditioned properly.  REMeber our training staff is 1 of the best.  I THInk he will fig it out, especialy with ben coming back.  I apologize for my  typing  ill  be  getting anew keyboard soon.  My  kids dumped pop on it            

    • Jul 13, 201211:38 am
      by Pistons

      Reply

      lol thats too good. and yeah while i may have said he’s unconditioned in a negative way (idk how it was taken), i meant it as a positive thing. i figure conditioning comes easier than creating a motivation and motor to get up and down the floor

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