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Brandon Knight soars in return as Pistons survive Wizards

WASHINGTON – Brandon Knight had just begun his post-game interviews when Charlie Villanueva  walked past.

“Welcome back, young fella,” Villanueva boomed as he left the locker room. “Welcome back.”

“Thank you, sir,” Knight said before continuing his response to the media.

I’ll take a cue from Knight and show my appreciation, too.

After missing the last three games – his first-ever DNPs – Knight scored a career-high 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-6 on 3-pointers, to lead the Pistons to a 96-95 win over the Wizards on Wednesday.

Knight’s performance was hardly transcendent, but this season, when every Pistons game is quickly forgotten, it might come as close as we get. With Knight sidelined, the Pistons lost by 32, 18 and 11. Facing his first return after a missed game, Knight quickly changed the Pistons’ direction with 12 points, two assists and no turnovers in the first quarter.

“Our fight just wasn’t really there,” Knight said of the three games he missed. “So, me, as one of the leaders, just wanted to come back and make sure I provided us with some fight.”

The Pistons responded like Knight hoped.

Jose Calderon’s defense tightened on John Wall, who finished with more turnovers (seven) than points (six). Kim English raced the floor to get 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. Jason Maxiell played stifling defense, finishing with seven defensive rebounds, four blocks, a steal and a well-earned, game-best +21 plus-minus rating in 26 minutes.

All fed off Knight’s fight.

There’s room to pick apart Knight’s game – especially his four turnovers, including two on the first two possessions of the second half – but I’m just going to note those miscues and move on.

Knight played brilliantly offensively. He ran the pick-and-roll to create space, ran hard around off-ball screens and pushed up court during fastbreaks to get his points. Most of his arsenal was on display, and it was a joy to watch.

Defensively, Knight struggled,which he admitted after the game, citing his knee injury.

“I wanted to play last game,” Knight said. “So, it’s not good. There’s going to be some discomfort, just a matter of how much and how much you can play through. I always play through some discomfort, different things that you guys don’t always know about.”

I asked Knight about preparing after his first missed games, and he dismissed any significance, saying he prepared for every game as if he were playing. That’s a veteran answer from a 21-year-old.

It can be easy to forget how many situations Knight has yet to experience, but tonight, he got a new one, and that could pay off later. I can imagine Knight, relying on his experience tonight, getting injured in the playoffs a couple years from now and coming back without missing a beat.

Nearly every night, there are lessons like that for Knight to absorb.

The same can be said for Greg Monroe, the 22-year-old who had 26 points, 11 rebounds and four steals Wednesday. He stopped hesitating on his mid-range jumper, and not only did he make shots from that area, it opened the rest of his offense.

Monroe’s and Knight’s 58 combined points were the most they’ve ever scored together in a game. Of course, they had plenty of help from Calderon, who had 18 assists, including six to each Monroe and Knight. Knight was asked whether the Pistons were unstoppable when he and Monroe played so well.

“Not necessarily unstoppable, because we still almost lost,” Knight said. “So, it’s not about offense. It’s about making sure, no matter what’s going on offense, it’s about making sure we’re getting stops on the defensive end.”

Another veteran answer and also a very correct one. Trevor Ariza ended the game on a personal 8-0 run before missing a 3-pointer as time expired.

With Monroe and Knight playing well simultaneously, we glimpsed where this team was hopefully headed after last season. Those two looked great, but a one-point win over the Wizards hardly constitutes the end goal. As the Wizards shot 25-of-40 in the paint (63 percent), it became clear how fortunate the Pistons were to draft Andre Drummond, a potential rim-protecting difference maker.

Monroe and Knight are nice pieces to rebuild around, but they’re not nearly enough.

They were enough to win Wednesday, though, and that counts for something. There has been a lot of talk about whether the Pistons should start tanking, and Lawrence Frank basically admitted before the game he’d begin more lineup experimentation once the Pistons are officially eliminated from the playoff race. As a fan, that’s satisfying. But for the current players, these days must be torture. It’s important – if for no other reason than to keep morale high enough to keep working hard – they experience some success, some good feelings.

With postgame of Georgetown’s just-concluded win over Connecticut playing on the locker-room television, Monroe stopped teasing Villanueva and Drummond long enough to talk about Knight.

“He’s a big part of what we do,” Monroe said. “So ,whenever he’s on the floor, guys do feel better.”

100 Comments

  • Feb 27, 20139:24 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    16+ attempts way to BK ….

    • Feb 28, 20139:08 am
      by G

      Reply

      Ugh. I knew you were going to say that. I’d like to point out that a) he missed his last 3 shots, so the 16+ attempts thing didn’t help him exactly, b) this was as a SHOOTING GUARD, not a PG, so your whole “scoring point” thing gets a little debunked here, and c) it was against the Wizards, which offer a favorable match up for Knight’s offense.

  • Feb 27, 20139:27 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Where are all Brandon Knight’s haters???? Now what!?

    • Feb 27, 20139:30 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      they lookin up advanced stats… pick apart his game and give credit to Jose…

      • Feb 27, 20139:39 pm
        by Brandon Knight

        Reply

        hahaha Imagine if he made that dunk!! It would of been one of the top dunks of the year? … and they keep saying he is not athletic or quick lol

        • Feb 27, 20139:50 pm
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          he has a 37.5 inch vertical…..

        • Feb 28, 201312:04 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          “would of”
          *shudder 

    • Feb 27, 201310:21 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Still here, still right. One good game means squat. Hey, remember that time a 21 year old center put up a 30 point and 19 rebound game, and then followed it up with a 27 and 11? His name is Kwame Brown. He turned into a star player, right? Sustained quality play is the hallmark of good players, so calm down. Besides, most of us have been maintaining that Brandon Knight does not look like he’ll be a quality starting point guard. Umm, he wasn’t playing point guard tonight. I should point out he also had 4 turnovers. That in no way changes the fact that he had a great night, but it’s notable when discussing his prospects as a point guard. One good night does not erase nearly 2 years of mostly poor play.
       
      By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone say Knight isn’t athletic. I’d still say he’s not a crazy John Wall type of athlete though, but he is a pretty good athlete.

      • Feb 28, 20136:31 am
        by Derek

        Reply

        Kwame Brown had zero worth ethic.  He refused to play summer league for the Wizards.  He rejected a weight lifting program they had for him because he said he was naturally thick.  He continued to shy away from catching the ball at crucial moments in the game because he said he would mess up the play. 

        Kwame was content with making it to the league, but had very little drive beyond that.

        Knight has had other big games.  He shut down Lillard and Irving on different occasions.  He has had great battles with Jennings.  Knight and Brown have very little in common when it comes to the intangibles.

        The kid has been inconsistent, but he definitely ain’t Kwame Brown material (not by a longshot).

        • Feb 28, 20138:56 am
          by oats

          Reply

          Then you missed my point to a large extent. It happens, and maybe I was not being clear enough or over relying on the fact that I was replying to the two biggest Knight apologists around. I was not calling Knight Kwame Brown material, that wasn’t what I meant. I only meant to point out how little importance can be placed on just a couple good games. They don’t tell you anything in a vacuum, other than that the kid has NBA caliber talent. We already knew that Brandon Knight was an NBA player, but that is not the same as saying he is going to be a good starter. I’m responding to two guys that love claiming Knight is our point guard of the future and that if he just shot more he’d already be a good point guard now. My entire point is that one game doesn’t make that true, but these two are acting like it does.
           
          Maybe I should have made it clear. I actually am fond of Knight. I don’t think he’ll turn into a Kwame Brown type of disappointment, and you are absolutely correct that his good work ethic is probably the main reason for it. Knight’s already a solid rotation guy, and I think he has the makings of a really good 6th man, or a low end starter. There is some real value to that. Heck, some 6th men are much more valuable than a good number of starters, and Knight could be one of those. I just am not buying that he will ever be a good or even average starter at the point. I also don’t see him ever being a good starter at shooting guard, although I could see him becoming an average one.
           
          If I was trying to make a comparison for Knight I’d probably go with Randy Foye. I mean, other than being three years younger I don’t see much different from Knight and Randy Foye’s second year in the league. I believe Foye got injured that year, so that might be the problem for him. Then again, Foye came back healthy the next year and put up an extra 3 points a game. That age difference is why I see Knight becoming a good 6th man, which is more than Foye ever did, but I’m not buying it is enough of a difference to go from Randy Foye to a good starter. That’s especially true since Knight made no progress from year one to year two. Maybe if he was showing signs that he was putting that age advantage to good use I’d feel differently, but Knight is the same player now as he was last year.
           
          As an aside, those two games are not just some anomaly from Kwame. Seriously, look up his game logs from his 3rd year in the league, when he was Knight’s age. He was all over the place production wise, but he had a lot of good games that year. Check out the stretch in games 41-60. Of those 20 games he was good in about 12 of them. Compare it to Knight‘s current stretch. He’s still got 3 games to go to finish his 41st -60th game, but he’s only had 8 good games so far in that 17 game stretch. Once again, the point isn’t to say Knight is Kwame material. I’m just pointing out how a few good games don’t mean much. It’s about consistency and sustained success.

          • Mar 1, 201310:42 am
            by Derek

            @oats Thanks for the clarification.  I appreciate your well thoughtout reasoning.  I would still hesitate to make a connection between the two players because of their vastly different intangibles.  Aside from skills and situations, the tangibles an individual brings to the table determines their trajectory. 

            I believe we have to small of a sample set to pigeonhole Knight into the 6th man or low end starter category.  You probably see things differently and it is cool that we disagree at this point.  The bottomline is we both want to see our team succeed and if a big part of that success is a player we are both fond of (Knight), we would no doubt both be happy.

            Foye is a good comparison with Knight.  He’s at least a much comparison better than Kwame Brown.  I think Damion Lillard’s game resembles Randy Foyes more than Knight.  Knight is a little more frenzied in his approach to the game.  The way he attacks reminds me of Gary Payton.  I am hopeful he will experience the same measure of success as GP.

          • Mar 1, 201311:50 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “The way he attacks reminds me of Gary Payton.  I am hopeful he will experience the same measure of success as GP.”

            Yeah, I don’t think anyone would mind if Knight had a Hall of Fame career and became one of the best defensive guards of all-time. That comparison might be setting the bar just a tad high though. 

        • Feb 28, 201310:58 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Just understand that at this point in his career, Stuckey looked significantly better than Knight currently does. Knight is at 123 games. By the time Stuckey hit 169, he had two Player of the Week honors. That’s tough to do when you’re on a bad team.

          • Mar 1, 201312:56 pm
            by Derek

            @Patrick I know I’m a dreamer!  lol.  Still I see I a lot of potential and the right intangibles in BK7.

    • Feb 27, 201311:24 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Still not a hater. Still think that the Pistons are better off keeping him than swapping him for whatever return he could garner at this point. Still think he has potential but that his development is no sure thing. And still think that right now, Brandon Knight is a well below average starter.

      But he had a good game. Here’s hoping he starts doing that more often than not. 

      • Feb 28, 20132:38 am
        by jerrific

        Reply

        ^this. Knight has talent, and he’s certainly capable of more games like these,  but I’m not sold on his, ability to play at a high level consistently. Also, he is kind of positionless. He’s not really capable of running the point, but he’s too small for a shooting guard. I see him becoming more of a Jason Terry type sixth man. We should trade him now while his potential still intrigues other teams. 

    • Feb 27, 201311:29 pm
      by Vince

      Reply

      Hey man! 

      Yeah, impressive game, I’ll be the first to admit to that. But hey, fun fact: one game doesn’t mean he’ll produce at this level from here on out.

      I HATE FRANK, no I don’t need advanced stats to prove my point, all I need is names: Rodney Stuckey, Smush Parker, Jerryd Bayless – amongst others. All guards, all players people thought would be the next big thing, they had their share of impressive games, but also a bigger share of mediocre games. Knight is still in that grey area.

      NOW. If Knight goes on to play like this consistently for the next 20 games then I might reconsider my position – might. Putting up career numbers against the Wizards is well… fairly common in the NBA nowadays, now if Brandon torches OKC, San Antonio, New York or any of the LA teams for 30+ points, 5 reb, 5 ast and less than 2 TOs then he’s got my attention. Even as a SG he managed to get 4 damn TOs! He’s an above-average player who had a field day against a shitty team – nothing special.

      • Feb 27, 201311:53 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        In what universe is Brandon Knight, at this point in his career, an above average player? I certainly believe it is likely he will become one. And I hope he will become much above average. But right now, he’s just not.

        Maybe that’s Frank’s fault. But there is no more evidence to suggest that than there is to suggest the coach is at fault for any other struggling young player.

        Also, as Vince pointed out, this has nothing on what Stuckey has done several times. Stuckey even won a couple Player of the Week recognitions.

        • Feb 28, 201312:07 am
          by Vince

          Reply

          I consider him to be an above average player, not starter worthy, but rotation player worthy. His 3pt shooting and speed I think are his greatest assets, other than that his handling is horrendous and finishing at a rim seems to be hard for him.

           

          • Feb 28, 201310:51 am
            by tarsier

            Oh, yeah, you’re right. I was thinking above average starter.

    • Feb 28, 20139:10 am
      by G

      Reply

      Not a Brandon Knight hater, I’m a Brandon Knight as PG hater. Love to see him do well at SG. I think his game fits better at SG. I’m pretty sure your whole point in the past was that Knight is the team’s future at PG, and he doesn’t play well when someone else is setting him up. Oops.

  • Feb 27, 20139:42 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    This has to mean Brandon Knight is better than John Wall. 

    • Feb 27, 20139:45 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      has nothing to do with being better than wall

      • Feb 27, 201311:32 pm
        by Desolation Row

        Reply

        It was joke, but okay. 

      • Feb 28, 201311:13 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        One game also has nothing to do with BKs overall performance on the year

  • Feb 27, 20139:45 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Another big game by Knight. I wasn’t expecting him to play this well in his first game back, but I’ll take it. Now hopefully he can keep it up.

  • Feb 27, 20139:49 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Calderon/Knight have the makings of a great backcourt if Knight can get some consistency going. He’s not going to have 32 every night, but just don’t follow it up with 4 straight 12 pt games. Hes capable of putting up 18-20 pts evey night. If he can do that, with Calderon running the show, they can be a great duo

    They straight up punked a great backcourt in Wall/Beal tonight. And so much for Calderons bad defense. He caused one of the toughest to guard PGs in the league to turn it over more times than he scored in pts.

  • Feb 27, 20139:57 pm
    by Nick

    Reply

    I would rather keep Knight at SG that to overpay for Mayo or Ellis this offseason.

    • Feb 27, 201310:05 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      Agreed. If you look at their career stats they are almost identical. No reason to spend the max on an undersized SG, when you already got one who is capable of putting up the same numbers on a rookie deal

    • Feb 27, 201310:05 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Yep. Knight is going to be a gOod Sg, and I’ve been saying that actually begging for that months before they got Calderon. A good pass first pg allows other players to play their roles better. 18 assists 2 turnovers that’s a 9/1 assist turnover ratio. 

      There are people that like basketball for entertainment value, and there are people that understand the game.

      Now imagine Calderon, Knight, Otto Porter, Monroe, and Drummond. That’s a competitive lineup against any team in the league.

      • Feb 28, 201312:40 am
        by frankie d

        Reply

        that starting lineup would get into the playoffs, and how far they would go would depend on their bench.  otto porter as the pistons draft choice!
         

    • Feb 27, 201310:24 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Knight’s been playing well his last few games, but I still say Knight’s better suited to play the 1 in the long run. Let’s not forget his last game at pg he put up 20 and 10 and led us to a blowout over the Cavs. So I don’t think we can just chalk up his play as of late solely to his move to the 2 with Calderon at point. Plus as an undersized sg, he’ll likely struggle considerbaly more to be effective against the better defensive teams of the league.

      But, right now I’m mostly just glad just to see him playing well and hope he can keep it up. 

      • Feb 28, 20139:18 am
        by G

        Reply

        Remember the part where it was against the Cavs?

        By the way, Knight scored over 20 points 8 times before we got Calderon (that’s 8 times in 48 games, or 17%). Since we got Calderon, 3 times in 9 games played (33%), and last night was BK7′s best as a pro. He looked REALLY comfortable at shooting guard, he rarely looks comfortable at point guard. 

  • Feb 27, 20139:59 pm
    by Dre all day

    Reply

     Now I have a reason to watch the pistons again. I love when bk7 plays aggresively because when he gets up shots he can get going

  • Feb 27, 201310:00 pm
    by David

    Reply

    Loved Monroe’s midrange jumpers tonight. 

    That’s a key component of a future Monroe+Drummond front court: Monroe’s midrange game being threatening enough to create space below the rim for Andre.

    His 15 – 18 foot jumper not falling in was a disappointing part of his slow start to the season and, I’d guess, part of the reason Frank has been hesitant to start Drummond.  

    • Feb 27, 201310:03 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      Agreed. Its funny because he had missed his first few mid range shots and was hesitating like usual, and I said thats it, he’s never going to develop a jumpshot. Then he makes like his next 3 in a row and looks like LMA lol

      If he can develop consistency/confidence in that shot, he will be tough to stop on offense, and I think thats the key to making our offense as a team work. It will open everything up.

    • Feb 27, 201310:55 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      I say it all the time…he is just that 15-17footer away from being a all-star

  • Feb 27, 201310:06 pm
    by Lorenzo

    Reply

    Like I said in another post…it’s a great game by Knight, taking nothing away from him…but at this point in his development stringing together 5-6 solid games is/would be more telling of his development than having 1 flash game followed by 4-5 duds. Youth or not there has to be some stringing of consistent play with these many games under his belt.

    • Feb 27, 201310:28 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Agreed. I think that’s what most everyone is hoping he can do. Still an exciting performance by him though.

  • Feb 27, 201310:14 pm
    by Danny

    Reply

    Great game for Knight, but the game got too close in the last minute or so.  they need to put teams away in this kind of situatioin if their going to take the next step forward.    

    • Feb 27, 201310:49 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Much of that was poor substitutions in the 4th. Frank brought our 3 hottest players Knight, Monroe, and Calderon out all at the same time with only a 10 point lead and left nothing but bench players in there. It was almost inevitable Washington would make a run. After that it was a dogfight to the finish.

  • Feb 27, 201310:28 pm
    by Brigs

    Reply

    great game for bk7 but I have a feeling this is gonan be anthor one of those 2 or 3 game stretches where he plays well then starts sucking again

  • Feb 27, 201310:53 pm
    by Jay

    Reply

    Forget about Knight’s individual numbers, the team just plays sooo much better when he’s in the game. Can’t wait for Drummond to come back, that’s when we should start to look like an improved team. I gotta say, Knight’s future is the point guard though. Those games when he knows it’s his team, he completely takes over at the point. For example, those two games when Tayshaun was traded and Calderon wasn’t playing yet, knight had some of his best games of the season. I think Knight lets others take the lead role too much sometimes….he’s gotta learn to be the leader of this team, meaning more than just by his work ethic. Him and Monroe really looked good tonight. 

    • Feb 27, 201310:55 pm
      by Jay

      Reply

      Sorry forgot to expand on the example I used with Tayshuan gone and BK7 taking over. I feel Tayshaun always scared the players with everyone being scared of what he thought of them…since he was from the legendary championship team. With Tayshaun gone, Knight was able to play his game without fear and just do what he’s best at, instead of listening to what Tayshaun wants all the time. 

    • Feb 27, 201311:37 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      The team plays better with him because the team is pretty awful. He is better than the alternatives for us right now, but that doesn’t make him good. He’s been a really bad starter for a year and a half, but now you are saying that is somehow Prince’s fault. Yeah, I’m not buying it. You get to cherry pick the two games after the Prince trade and before Calderon showed up and ignore a ton of evidence that suggests he isn’t a good point guard. I don’t get why those few games mean so much more than the everything else he has done. He played really well against the Cavs, a team he always plays well against. He then was ok against the Lakers with 10 points, 7 assists, and 3 turnovers. The Lakers are awful at guarding point guards, especially vaguely athletic ones, so a 10 and 7 really isn’t all that good. I’d put exactly as much stock in that as the 21 points against the Bobcats and 32 points against the Wizards in the last two games he’s played, which is to say not much at all.

    • Feb 27, 201311:39 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Agreed on just about everything you said, especially with Knight at the point. In the long run, I think his potential is higher there too. Even a freakishly athletic 6’3″ sg is going to be a liability at times against the best teams. A 6’3″ pg, not so much. But that depends on whether or not he develops his point guard game.

      • Feb 27, 201311:41 pm
        by T Casey

        Reply

        That response was to Jay btw.

      • Feb 28, 20139:24 am
        by G

        Reply

        I think Hollinger did an average PER by average height for each position a year ago, and the numbers were a bit surprising. For example he averaged the PER for every PG at 6’0″, 6’1″, 6’2″, etc. The height with the highest average PER at SG was 6’3″, oddly enough.

        Now PER doesn’t factor in defense very much, which is where Knight may struggle, but he’s got some fight in him as the tussle with Artest proved. 

  • Feb 27, 201311:22 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Checkout Brandon Knight SICK play - Crossover on John Wall
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9wm_ojc69A

  • Feb 28, 201312:13 am
    by ShimmeringWang

    Reply

    There is such a strange attitude here. It appears two distinct types of Pistons Fan post here, and each is trying to persuade the other he is the “REAL FAN.” 

    Tarsier and Oats: “Like Dan Feldman, we are data-oriented fans with reasons to be pessimistic about Brandon Knight. Fanhood means being honest with ourselves and one another, and also never having to say you’re sorry. SAMPLE SIZE. Brandon Knight will be below average, and, if so, I AM THE WINNER also SAMPLE SIZE.”

    I HATE FRANK and Brandon Knight: “Brandon Knight is going to be awesome, and if you disagree, you are NOT A TRUE YANKEE.”

    It’s probably obvious that I tend to agree with the first camp, but I also think Tarsier and Oats (a generic name for a group that unfairly singles out posters “tarsier” and “oats”) let themselves fall into the role of curmudgeonly analyst.

    For the record, I am a huge baseball fan, and I was so worried about Justin Verlander’s K% during his first few years that I thought he was going to be a disappointment, and a year after the Tigers traded for M.Cabrera I looked at the trends in his BB% and his abysmal UZR at 3B and fearlessly predicted he’d be untradeable by 2011.

    Anyway, you’re all on the same team. If Knight is good, we all win. Don’t try to take credit for it, and don’t try to defend against it. 

     

    • Feb 28, 201312:44 am
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      It’s not really strange. It’s prevalent in all walks of life. There are people who say they are patriots for questioning their country’s actions when the government appears to overstep its boundaries and other who say they are patriots for blindly supporting their government. There are employees who are quick to question their employers’ decisions and others who constantly drink the kool-aid. It’s human nature for a significant part of the population to fall into one category or the other, and both sides offer their own sense of comfort. 

      At the end of the day, we’re all fans. That we’re even on here discussing a team most other people, even in the freaking Detroit area itself, could not care less about is evidence enough of this fact. Or that none of us is getting laid enough. Either way, let’s all step off our high horses. 

    • Feb 28, 20139:52 am
      by G

      Reply

      Weren’t Tarsier and Oats a pop band in the ’80′s? Or am I thinking of somebody else?

  • Feb 28, 201312:40 am
    by MrHappyMushroom

    Reply

    Let’s not get too excited. This was a one point win over the fourth or fifth worst team in the NBA. We are still looking at a likely 30-32 win Pistons team.
     
    Yep, some definite reasons for future optimism.  But this isn’t a good team and will take a lot more than a year of seasoning to get beyond being a fringe playoff contender.  Joe needs to hit this year’s draft pick(s) and free agent signings big time or we’re likely looking at a further half-decade of (slightly improved) mediocrity.  30 wins is a loooooooooong way from a 55 win contender.

    • Feb 28, 201312:45 am
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      If we do the logical thing and tank the rest of the season, I might just consider that an improvement over years past. 

  • Feb 28, 201312:49 am
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Grades? I love those posts. Most games start at 4:30 my time… how else will I know towards whom I should channel my rage over the Pistons’ perpetual mediocrity?!!

  • Feb 28, 20131:07 am
    by Mrshourite

    Reply

    Is it just me or did Knight kind of resemble RIP (pre Chicago days) the way he was so active without the ball? Exciting win, but our D is lacking big time!!!

    • Feb 28, 20132:36 am
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Someone on pistons.com said the same thing. He was playing off those screens really well. I was impressed.

  • Feb 28, 20131:09 am
    by Mrshourite

    Reply

    Grades anyone?

  • Feb 28, 20131:13 am
    by Jay

    Reply

    Please get the grades up haha. 

  • Feb 28, 20133:09 am
    by Mone

    Reply

    No grades??? Brandon and Jose both deserve A’s..

  • Feb 28, 20138:44 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    @ Vince, Tarsier, G, and whoever else…

    My feeling on Brandon Knight is that we have yet to see him play HIS game consistently…. We’ve seen him play the way Frank would want him to play. And thats not his game

    I said that if we move him to SG to be a spot up shooter it would be a waste of Talent, and if you look at the games earlier when Jose Moved to PG…thats all Knight Did … No movement or No running off of screen, No pick and rolls….

    However,  I will give Jose alot of credit as floor General it seems like he has been looking to set Knight up more offensively, looking for him on fast breaks, finding him running off of screens….

    when Knight is aggressive, and get his shot attempts he can be very good for us… So It has nothing to do with ME LIKING KNIGHT! I DID NOT LIKE THE DARKO PICK , but it has everything to do with WANTING KNIGHT TO BE A GOOD PLAYER FOR US… because if he turns out like Stuckey its a SET BACK! for us as a team!!!!! and Im tired of SET BACKS!

    • Feb 28, 20139:16 am
      by oats

      Reply

      Wanting Knight to be good, and blindly believing he will and constantly making excuses for him are two different things. You have been doing the latter. You still are. You still blame Frank for Knight’s style of play even though it seems like Frank has let every other point guard play the way they want to play. Bynum is doing what he always did, so is Jose. Back in New Jersey Devin Harris played the way he played before and after Frank was there, and Harris played the kind of attacking game you wish Knight would play. If Knight wanted to shoot more then he should have shot more, before the trade he was the one with the ball in his hands the most. Knight was playing his game, not Frank’s. If you want to argue Frank should have pushed him to get out of that style of play and focus on shooting more, then that is a different matter. Honestly, without being in practice I don’t know how you can know Frank hadn’t been doing that.
       
      I want Knight to be good. I believe he can be good. But I expect him to do what most players with his kind of resume do, which is never become a good starter. Stuckey is actually a pretty solid comparison for Knight. His second year in the league he was a bit better than Knight, and at 22 he was only a year older. Seriously, why should I expect more from Knight than what Stuckey has done? Because I want him to? That is a terrible reason. Instead of refusing to acknowledge the evidence in front of me I’d rather see the team learn from the Stuckey mistake and properly rate Knight as a player. We shouldn’t pencil him in as a starter and stop looking to improve. He hasn’t justified that kind of faith in him. That’s how you don’t repeat the Stuckey mistake, you learn from it and don’t rely on a middling player to become some kind of star.

    • Feb 28, 20139:30 am
      by G

      Reply

      Why would playing Knight at SG be a waste of talent? He’s more comfortable there, he moved well without the ball, and he got better shots because of it. I think forcing a player to play outside of his game is more of a waste than forcing him to play PG just because he’s 6’3″. Barkley was 6’6″, they didn’t force him to play SG or SF.

      What does not liking the Darko pick have to do with anything? Please explain. 

      • Feb 28, 201311:35 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        You guys seem to disagree just to disagree even when we are saying the same thing…

        I SAID – I did not want Knight at SG as a SPOT UP SHOOTER…thats a waste…because Knight can get his own shot, and create for teammates, he’s an athletic Combo Guard… so to stand in the corner or on the wing and just wait to be kicked out to is a waste….. has nothing to do with 6’3

        “”What does not liking the Darko pick have to do with anything? Please explain.”"

        you dont need to like the talent we have to want them to be sucessful. Thats it…

        • Feb 28, 201311:51 am
          by G

          Reply

          Ah, I gotcha. I’ll agree, although spot up shooting IS part of his game & should be mixed in with the other stuff.

          The 6’3″ comment… I can’t remember who all has said what, but I know a lot of the folks insisting on locking Knight in as a PG are saying 6’3″ is too short for a SG, which is false.

          The Darko comment, I just didn’t get what you were saying because there was no context.

          Look, I haven’t actually been saying I want Knight to fail, what I’ve been saying is I want him to be put in a position where he can succeed. It doesn’t look like PG is a fit, and I don’t think “volume scorer” is a good role for him either, at least not yet. I think it’s better for Knight to pick his spots until he gets a better feel for his place in the offense. Once he shows he can produce on a consistent basis, then you start feeding him 16+ shots a game. Until then, feed him on the good nights only.

        • Feb 28, 201312:40 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I do agree that Frank should go. But more because of Drummond and the record in general than because of Knight (not that Knight helps his case any).

          • Feb 28, 201312:58 pm
            by G

            Unfortunately I think we’re stuck with Frank until Summer of 2014. To be perfectly fair, Frank hasn’t had much to work with this year. I expected the Pistons to challenge for a playoff spot, and at times they looked capable, but no one could argue the talent level on this team is EXTREMELY low. I think Frank probably keeps his job at least another year, and if they make the playoffs next year, the team will extend him.

    • Feb 28, 20139:57 am
      by G

      Reply

      By the way, it’s pretty rare for a SG to run PnR with a PG. Usually you want a forward or center setting the pick, since the opposing bigs are usually slow to step out and there’s more of a mismatch when your PG’s guy has to switch to your big.

      Again, this game Knight ran off screens & stuff, and he looked pretty good doing it. Just saying. 

      • Feb 28, 201311:48 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        for this team  not really….we’ve had 4 players operating as PG’s this year…5 if you include Prince…

        • Feb 28, 201311:54 am
          by G

          Reply

          See, now you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing. It’s rare for the ball handler and the screener to BOTH BE GUARDS. It doesn’t create much of an advantage. Agree?

    • Feb 28, 201311:50 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’ve asked you a couple times and am still waiting for an answer. What makes Brandon Knight’s case different from literally every other struggling young player? What inside information do you have that allows you to know that it is Frank forcing Knight to “not play his game” as opposed to Knight not how to best use his talents? Couldn’t one use this excuse for every player who seems to not play in an optimal manner?

      I before chose the example of Josh Smith because it’s the first that comes to mind. You didn’t answer then so I’ll ask again. How do you know Smith is using the wrong play style because he is ignoring his coach and following himself? And how do you know Knight is using the wrong play style because he is ignoring himself and following his coach? Especially because if it was Frank’s doing, why does Bynum play so differently?

      I’m not saying you’re wrong. Just that I don’t think you have any evidence to support your hypothesis. And it’s awfully biased to apply it to exactly one player in the league. So it’s nothing more than a wild guess. And if it’s correct, it probably applies to a bunch of other guys in the league too. And many of them were adaptable enough to get over it.

      • Feb 28, 201312:05 pm
        by G

        Reply

        Here’s what I think – the problem with Josh Smith is shot selection. He tends to shoot a lot of low percentage shots, especially low percentage for him. I have no inside info on the situation but typically that’s something a coach would advise against. Factor in the fact that Josh Smith has pulled this same act for… I don’t know how many but a LOT of different head coaches. That tells me it’s probably Josh Smith’s choice to take bad shots & the coaches just try to limit the number of bad shots he takes.

        I think Knight’s case is a bit different. His struggles appear to be a lack of comfort & understanding of his role in the offense. At first he was playing PG, and he struggled a lot – because he’s not a natural PG. Now it was the coaches asking him to fill this role, basically waiting to see if he would catch on. He didn’t. So about halfway through the year we got Calderon, and Knight’s role changed. Now he has to learn how to score without the ball in his hands most of the time. It appears he’s catching on.

        • Feb 28, 201312:34 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          That is fair. I guess Smoove was not the most apt comparison. But I think you would agree that my main points still stand.

          • Feb 28, 201312:49 pm
            by G

            Sure, check my comment almost directly below. I think players determine most of what is done on the court, not coaches. 

    • Feb 28, 201312:02 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      I really like seeing BK play like this, but my question is who is responsible for him playing HIS game?  I see I HATE FRANK always talking about the system being the problem and the coaching staff not letting BK play the way he needs to, so did the coach let BK play his way last night?  Are these good games from BK just times when he was allowed to play in a way that works for him?  In my opinion he is responsible for playing his way.  He is a professional athlete and to explain bad games by saying he his held down by being put in a bad role and then explain good games as BK finally being allowed to shine is a stretch.  I am not suggesting that our game plan remains constant or anything, but his good games are spread throughout the season and it doesn’t make much sense to suggest that when he isn’t scoring it is because Frank is telling him not to and when he is it is because he was given permission.  I really want him to succeed, but he shares more responsibility for accomplishing that than a lot of his fans on here act like.

      • Feb 28, 201312:04 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        A lot like tarsiers response my reply wasnt posting for some reason

      • Feb 28, 201312:12 pm
        by G

        Reply

        I totally agree with this. I think coaches have a lot less input on the flow of actual games than you would expect. Frank isn’t really a “system” coach the way Jerry Sloan and Phil Jackson were, at least not with the offense. Most teams don’t run a lot of set plays, the players on the court dictate the flow of play (for the most part). 

  • Feb 28, 20139:23 am
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    I like what Knight was able to do last night. The one thing that has always got me is that you can tell within the first 3 – 4 minutes whether this team has it that night or not. This almost harkens back to the glory days of the past decade. You can just tell when a team comes out flat and what type of night it will be. The intensity level was there last night and it started with BK.
    I come from the side of the fence where I root for BK and I want to see him succeed and become an all-star caliber guy. I, however, would not be opposed to him being traded if it made the team better. Perfect example is this: Jerry Stackhouse and some thrown ins for Rip and some throw ins. Stackhouse peaked in 2000-01 (29pts per). Rip on the other hand remained consistent for the most part of his career (18-20pts per each year) and fit better on the team when Billups was signed in 2002. Both Billups and Stackhouse needed the ball in their hands and it wouldn’t have worked out. As we saw, Billups and Rip worked out. The point is, moving perhaps one of the better guys the team had for a while made them a better team. With BK’s speed, I’d like to see him running around more in half-court sets, a la Rip and the multiple screens that would be set to get him open. If he can develop a nice mid-range jumper off a curl, with Calderon, that’s money all day to the bank.
    Changing the subject, has Kim English’s performance as of late surprised anyone? I know it is correlated to getting more playing time, but his mannerisms and techniques remind me a lot of Rip. It’d be nice if he could develop into the skill set and type of player that Afflalo was/has become. 

    • Feb 28, 201311:53 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I disagree. They’ve mounted a couple big comebacks (whether ultimately successful or not). And they’ve blown a ton of big leads.

  • Feb 28, 201310:27 am
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Good game last night Pistons…Knight playing well tonight, but I’m still not sold on him playing the 2 full-time…

    • Feb 28, 201310:39 am
      by G

      Reply

      Do the Pistons have a better option?

      • Feb 28, 201311:07 am
        by Jodi Jezz

        Reply

        Sure we do!..We can draft a SG or we can trade for a SG this summer…But if we’re going to keep Knight at the 2 he’s going to have to gain weight this summer…As long as we’re winning and playing defense I don’t care what position he plays…

        • Feb 28, 201311:31 am
          by G

          Reply

          Ah, you mean next year. Well, there’s 22 games left, let’s see what happens. I agree, he should hit the weight room, maybe add 5-10 lbs of muscle. Not too much, you don’t want him losing that vertical.

          • Feb 28, 20131:42 pm
            by T Casey

            He’s aleady added 10 lb’s of muscle this past summer. At his height, he seems to have a pretty solid build. I think he’s already nearing the point where it’d be risky to add that much muscle again without losing some of his speed and quickness and what not. I’d rather see him focus primarily on his game this summer and try to learn how to run the point better. Maybe he can spend time with Calderon in the offseason or something.

          • Feb 28, 20134:42 pm
            by G

            Meh… I think he can get to about 200 lbs without costing hops, as long as it’s all muscle. I’d rather he forget about the point almost entirely and work on being a SG. 

        • Feb 28, 201311:54 am
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          Everyone wants OJ Mayo…but i dont want us to overpay for his services…All i want this summer is a GOOD Versatile SF!

          • Feb 28, 201312:21 pm
            by G

            Agree agree agree! I think Mayo is set to be wildly overpaid, and he reminds me a little of Ben Gordon (both take a lot of long 2′s and 3′s). 

            Pistons need to target a legit SF, defense, and a big for their bench like Hickson. 

          • Feb 28, 201312:46 pm
            by G

            Aaaaaaaaannnnd… the stats back me up on this. To a scary extent, actually.

            BG had just finished his 5th yr in the league when the Pistons signed him, Mayo’s also in his 5th year. Both led their team in scoring. Oj’s 6’4″, BG is 6’3″. Both mediocre to BAD defenders. Now here’s where it gets scary:

            Shot locations – at the rim BG averaged 3.4 attempts, Mayo 3.1. From 3-9 feet BG avg’d 0.8 attempts, Mayo 0.9. From 10-15 feet BG had 1.3, Mayo 1.2. From 16-23 feet BG had 5.4, Mayo 3.1. From Three BG avg’d 5.1 attempts, Mayo 4.8.

            Look, Mayo is a solid player & everything, but don’t offer him $10 million. His game won’t age well, he won’t help on D, and hopefully Brandon Knight fills the SG role well enough. 

          • Feb 28, 20131:25 pm
            by frankie d

            thanks for the stats on gordon and mayo.
            agree wholeheartedly about mayo.
            nice player, and if you could get him for a reasonable salary, he’s nice to have on your roster.  but he will probably get a ridiculous offer from someone – i’d bet close to max – and no way, no how would i ever think about paying mayo that kind of money.
            i’ve always thought that putting a PG like calderone next to knight would be the best thing for him.  while a shorter SG like knight is not ideal, it is one of those problems that can be finessed.  
            i also think that knight is the kind of player who may take the challenge and develop into a top-notch defensive guard, capable of defending most of the shooting guards out there.  especially with a guy like drummond backing him up.  the way he takes his game to another level when he plays against other, supposedly better young guards like wall and irving, is an indication that he might be capable of providing that kind of play consistently.
            and remember, no one, no single defender ever really shuts down the best guys, night after night.   unless there is just a quirky matchup where a particular defender has the number of a scorer and frustrates the heck out of him, for whatever reason.
            priorities for the team would be: 
            –the PG spot – signing calderone and drafting a player to take over
            – a wing scorer who can come in – either starting or off the bench – and get his own points when the offense breaks down.  a james harden type who you can just give the ball to and let him go to work. that player is going to have to be quite versatile, as he’s going to need to be a 3 point shooter, and be able to put the ball on the floor to get his own shot.   or at least, via movement, put himself in positions, in the paint, so he gets easy shots.
            but i would really like the team to see what they have in knight and english and stuckey at the SG spot and see if those guys can provide what the team needs.  if they can do so, it lets joe d, or whoever is sitting in his seat, the freedom to use draft choices and salary cap space to get that PG and a wing scorer. 
            my dream off-season would involve the pistons adding a late lottery pick, and drafting porter and then burke, resigning calderone – assuming he can be had for somewhere near 6-7 million per – and adding a young wing scorer via free agency or a trade where they use their cap space to facilitate a larger deal. 
            and keeping as much of their cap space open as is possible so that they go into next season as one of the teams that other teams look to in order to get a trade done.  and they pick up a good young player or draft choices simply by virtue of being there. 

          • Feb 28, 20131:36 pm
            by G

            No prob. It should be mentioned that Mayo shoots at a higher % than Gordon did, almost across the board at every distance, but I’m still not crazy about him and wouldn’t offer him what he’ll probably get. 

            I’d like to see them shed Stuckey or else leave him with the bench unit, and draft a solid SF in the 1st round (PORTER!) and either McCallum or a guy like Adreian Payne (backup PF/C, DEFENSE!) in the 2nd.

          • Feb 28, 20131:48 pm
            by frankie d

            as much as i don’t like it, it only makes sense to move stuckey.  
            i like him as a player and i think he’s been horribly misused by this organization – except for his rookie year, when he was in the exact position he needed to be in – but he is superfluous, with bynum on the team.  and because bynum has such good chemistry with drummond, and because bynum wlll end up being much cheaper – probably can sign him for somewhere in the 3-4 million range – it just makes sense to move stuckey.
            maybe they can move stuckey – and a second round pick – and get another lottery pick or mid-first round pick that allows them to draft both porter and burke.
            i like payne also.  he’d be a nice pickup with the early second rounder the team has. 

  • Feb 28, 20132:48 pm
    by sebastian

    Reply

    Frankie D., I was not aware that you were a fan of Stuckey’s. I personally use to be the President of the Rodney Stuckey Fan Club (just joking); but I really think that he could be OUR answer as a back-up point/back-up Shooting Guard. And, with a coach like Isiah Thomas could become a much better player.
    I am on record at wanting to see B. Knight continue to receive starters’ minutes at the Point.
    And, would love to see the Pistons attempt to acquire Afflalo in a sign-and-trade deal, possibly involving Calderon.
    Oh and as you have endorsed: Draft Otto Porter and sign Josh Smith.
     

    • Feb 28, 20133:38 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Dude… WHAT? You’re saying stack this team with combo-guards and 2-guards, dump Calderon (their only legit PG right now), and get Isiah Thomas to coach them? When has this happened before? Oh yeah, the ’06-’07 Knicks. And the ’07-’08 Knicks, who famously went down in flames.

      • Feb 28, 20133:55 pm
        by sebastian

        Reply

        Yo, G, no respectful Pistons fan should ever disparage Isiah Lord Thomas III. How dare you, G?

        • Feb 28, 20134:07 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Great player, terrible coach, worse GM. He’s got a great legacy as a Piston, hiring him as a coach would ruin it – because he would be AWFUL. He was fired from FIU! If he can’t hack it in the Sun Belt Conference, he can’t hack it in the NBA.

          • Feb 28, 20134:14 pm
            by sebastian

            But G, what about when Zeke went 131-115, as the coach of the Pacers. And, I would argue that he is a better man, now, because of his failures at New York and FIU.
            Hell, he is a lot better than L. Frank, John Kuester, and Michael Curry.

          • Feb 28, 20134:26 pm
            by G

            …a Pacers team he inherited from Larry Bird who had JUST BEEN TO THE FINALS. They went from contenders to getting bounced in the first round every year. Then Rick Carlisle came in and they were good again!

            I’d take Frank over Isiah any day, Kuester vs. Isiah is a wash of coaching ineptitude, and Curry… well, he’s worse, no argument there. You would argue he’s a better man now… maybe, but he’s not a better coach.

          • Feb 28, 20134:38 pm
            by G

            http://www.nbauniverse.com/teams/records_indiana_pacers.htm

            Bird coached the team from the ’97-’98 season to the ’99-’00 season. They made the finals, but Bird was wiped & Isiah took over. He coached there from ’00-’01 to ’02-’03. They made the playoffs but got bounced in the first round every year. Then Carlisle came in, got their record back over .600 again & got them to the ECF. They probably would’ve gotten there again except Artest derailed the whole thing.

            Point is, before & after Isiah the Pacers had something like a .680 winning%. During the Isiah years they were more like .530. That’s a difference of 12 wins!

  • Feb 28, 20132:54 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    To be fair, Mayo is a better defender than Gordon. And I’d be happy with him for a good price. But he does not deserve 8 figures. In making offers to any FAs, Joe should consider, if the Pistons end up drafting someone comparable or better at the position, could the FA be moved as an asset or would he be a liability? If the player on his new contract could be expected to bring back assets in a trade, go for it. Sign the man. If it would take assets to move him, it’s not worth it. Don’t take the risk of another BG/CV situation.

    • Feb 28, 20134:12 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      unfortunately for the pistons, i think mayo is going to get a deal that will average somewhere in the 13-14 million dollar range.    i think he’s going to point to eric gordon’s contract and demand something in that range.
      and, as often happens, i think he’ll get it.
      i just don’t think he’s worth that kind of money.
       

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