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Joe Dumars: ‘A lot of nights, we need Brandon (Knight) to score’

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

“Every team’s point guard has to do what they do best to help their team win,” he said. “If it means Brandon Knight has to score points for us to help us win, then that’s what he should do. When you put the ball into someone’s hands, they have to do what they do best to help your team win, not to fulfill some idea of what someone has for the position. Whatever it takes to put your team in position to win, that’s what you have to do.

“For us, a lot of nights we need Brandon to score. There are going to be some nights we don’t need him to score as much and that’s what I’m talking about – mastering the position. I think he’s starting to figure out nights where we need him to be more aggressive, nights where we need him to get other people involved. That’s where you trust a kid like Brandon Knight is going to figure it out – and we do trust that this kid will get it.”

“He seems more and more comfortable at the position,” the Pistons president of basketball operations said. “He’s starting to see a lot more things and he’s taking the steps he needs to take. It’s been encouraging to watch him grow into his role and that’s all you’re really looking for from that position. You have to know when to attack, know when to give it up, know when to just control your team. He’s still a young guy. He’s probably played about 90 games now. He’s still learning, but I like the direction that he’s headed in.”

I don’t think this message has been lost on Brandon Knight. He has often looked to score this season – definitely more than he did last year – and I’m fine with that, in theory. The idea of a “true point guard” is wildly overstated, and players of many different styles have had success at the position.

But Knight, when he’s running the offense, must remember many of his teammates are more efficient scorers off the ball than he is on the ball. That doesn’t mean he should never shoot. I just think he has more room to improve at setting up his teammates than setting up himself – though both could use work, considering he’s at his best right now spotting up off the ball.

As Dumars said, “He’s still learning.” There’s no need to panic about Knight’s development at this state. It is OK to acknowledge his flaws, though. The Pistons are allowing him to play the style that suits him best rather than some preconceived notion of what a point guard should, but he still hasn’t learned what that ideal style s yet himself.


  • Dec 19, 201212:25 pm
    by George


    I am not saying I believe this, but do guys ever wonder if Knight looks at Kyrie Irving’s stats and thinks he should be matching them?

    Lets face it, we just don’t have enough “go-to” scorers, so I guess we need Knight to chuck 15 shots a night, but I wonder if we had a more natural passer, we wouldn’t have that problem.  I sometimes wonder if Knight is basically a Jason Terry-Louis Williams style of player…a small hybrid guard who is better as a 6th man.

    This may sound crazy, but besides trying to sign a free agent or trade for some scorers, should we look into drafting a guy like Michael Carter-Williams.  He is a tall pg (height 6’5 -6’6), is a natural passer, an excellent defender, but isn’t the best shooter.  I could see him being like  Jason Kidd or Rondo in that his natural passing instincts and defense will offset his shooting issues.  He will make everyone around him better.  To a lesser extent, I also like Trey Burke.  He looks like he could be a Stephen Curry-lite type pg. 

  • Dec 19, 20121:03 pm


    I’ve been saying it since last year….

  • Dec 19, 20121:14 pm
    by frankie d


    imho, knight’s problem this year is another example of frank making a situation more complex than need be.
    by the end of last season, it appeared that knight and stuckey were working towards a system where they essentially shared PG duties. and while there were certainly speed bumps along the way, knight appeared to be making slow but steady progress – as a player mainly, but also as a “point guard” – and the pistons appeared to be moving towards an interesting set up that featured 2 combo guards and not a traditional PG/SG pairing.
    but, for whatever reason, there has been a clear move by the coaching staff to move knight towards a more pure PG role – it started in summer league and was in full force once the season started – and the results have not been good.
    knight is simply not ready to assume that role and he’s not filled it well.
    stuckey is most definitely not a traditional nba SG who can spot up and knock down 3 pointers and he got off to a horrendous slump.
    instead of fixing something that appeared to be organically settling into its own comfort zone, frank has managed to disrupt his entire starting backcourt, by trying to make each player into something he is not.  instead of letting the two players do what they do well and compliment each other, he’s tried to make them play the way he needs them to play, in his system.
    frank has a system, he expects the players to fit into that system, regardless of their skills and inclinations.
    what he’s done to the backcourt is a perfect example of the tendency. 

  • Dec 19, 20121:58 pm
    by Otis


    Scoring is the only thing he does well. He should not be asked/allowed to run an NBA offense. This team needs someone not named Greg Monroe who makes his teammates better. It’s no wonder this team is spinning its wheels. The idea of a “pure point guard” may be overrated because they are so rare, but how about a player who is constitutionally capable of running the offense? Is that too much to ask?

    This is not a small problem, and no evidence suggests it’s going to correct itself. 

  • Dec 19, 20126:08 pm
    by Big Rick


    Exactly Otis. Just the point I was trying to make the oher day when I gave my Christmas/Wish list for point guards I would like to have on our roster. I actually backed off that statement in sayig that if we do not get that “traditional point guard” then we need that type of player with a pass first mentality that has good floor vision and can set others up and put them in their sweet spots on the floor. This is especially important when you have a young team and it is crucial to the developmnt of our big men. As of now we don’t have that type of player on our team. They will try to make Knight our PG of the future which is not in the best interest of the talent that we have. True, he is still young and he has room to grow. But I don’t think that they should invest 3 to 4 more years in trying to develop him as a PG while passing up on more than capable facilitators at the same position.

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