The Detroit Pistons can certainly make the playoffs this season, but given how similar the team is to last year’s, it won’t be easy. It appears the Pistons are mostly relying on internal improvement in order to exceed expectations and reach the postseason.
For our 2012 preview series, Patrick and I will each examine one area where we see realistic room for improvement from each Piston. Today, we look at Brandon Knight.
Brandon Knight must improve as a distributor in the Pistons’ half-court offense, but he can help himself by gambling a bit more on defense. Steals, as I’ve said many times, are a very underrated stat, because not only do they mean the opposing offense doesn’t score, they often lead to easy opportunities on the other end.
Knight didn’t steal many balls at Kentucky two years ago or with Detroit last year, but he has the length to go for more steals without getting out of position often. With a year in the league, his anticipation skills should be improved, too.
Hopefully, Knight’s passing will improve, but in the meantime, he can create better looks for himself and for his teammates by going for more steals. — D.F.
Work on the floater
Knight showed an ability last season to get off a decent looking floater when he got inside, it just didn’t go in consistently for him.
It’s an important shot for him to develop because he’s never going to morph into the super athletic point guards in the league right now who explode up and over bigger players to finish. Knight has plenty of areas where minimal improvements this season would make him a much better player. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I think it’s fair to say he’s making those strides and will be better this season. But one area where he’s been really aggressive in Summer League and the first preseason game is looking to drive inside more. If he can combine that with an accurate floater that he gets off over anyone, he’ll be a much more dangerous player when he’s on the move.
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