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How Brandon Knight ruined the Pistons’ offense, and why he had to go

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

A lot went wrong during the two years Knight started for Detroit, and a large majority of it was not his fault, but his presence was particularly felt in one area:

Knight ruined the Pistons’ offense.

He didn’t do it singlehandedly, and the powers that put him in position to fail deserve more blame, but as far as players go, he’s the main culprit.

It largely went unnoticed, because the Pistons have been mostly terrible on both sides of the ball for so long — they’re the only team besides the Charlotte Bobcats with bottom-10 offenses and defenses each of the last two years — but Detroit actually had a better-than-NBA-average offense during their 30-52 2010-11 season. That offense wasn’t pretty, relying heavily on isolation play, but it was much more effective — ranking 15th in offensive rating — than the last two years, when the Pistons ranked 26th and 21st.

So what went wrong?

Dean Oliver developed what he calls “Four Factors of Basketball Success”: shooting, turnovers, rebounding and free throws. In the two seasons since 2010-11, the Pistons have rebounded better and converted more free throws, so those aren’t the issues. Their shooting got substantially worse in 2011-12, bouncing back a bit last season, and Knight played a small part in that problem.

But their turnovers got horrifically worse.

Detroit’s turnover rate in 2010-11 ranked fourth in the NBA. In the next two years, it plummeted to 28th and 27th.

On the court, that was Knight’s fault more than anyone else’s. He turns the ball over a lot, which isn’t terrible if a player is gambling to get high-percentage shots at the rim or set up his teammates, but Knight did neither particularly well.

For someone so smart — Knight was Ivy League material in the classroom — how could he play so foolishly on the court?

As Damon Bryant of Adaptive Assessment Services explains well, there’s a difference between Verbal/Linguistic processing in the brain and Visual/Spatial processing in the brain. Knight clearly excels at Verbal/Linguistic, the type of reading-and-writing skills that help someone excel in school. But Visual/Spatial — like seeing plays develop on a basketball court — is a different skill set, one in which Knight is lacking.

In other words, one of the key reasons the Pistons valued Knight — his intelligence — was too broad of a measure to mean he’ll become a good point guard. There are different types of intelligence, and the area in which Knight had proven to excel doesn’t necessarily translate to the type of intelligence high-end point guards possess.

117 Comments

  • Aug 2, 201311:02 am
    by alex

    Reply

    I was curious if the offensive efficiency took a steep dive after Prince left.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that was as big or a bigger impact to our offensive efficiency.

    • Aug 2, 201311:03 am
      by alex

      Reply

      As well as Stuckey playing quite a bit better in the season before.  That most surely inflated our offensive numbers compared to years before and ahead.  He played for his contract.

  • Aug 2, 201311:02 am
    by Keith

    Reply

    I have no qualms moving Knight. He showed no aptitude for the position, and was not a strong enough scorer to consistently play the wing. I am not a big fan of Jennings either, but even being mediocre is a huge upgrade over Knight.

    • Aug 2, 201312:54 pm
      by Jerrific

      Reply

      I’m not a huge Jennings fan either, but if he can put a leash on his shot selection, he could turn out to be a solid enough starting point guard. Two things he does better than Knight that will make a HUGE difference in our offense, he gets assists and doesn’t commit a lot of turnovers. 

      • Aug 2, 20134:58 pm
        by CityofKlompton

        Reply

        He commits about the same amount of turnovers as Knight does. Regardless, Jennings = upgrade.

        • Aug 2, 20135:15 pm
          by Jon

          Reply

          that was with the ball in his hands the whole game though. knight had the same amount of turnovers even though he didn’t have the ball in his hands all that much

          • Aug 2, 20135:54 pm
            by tarsier

            this

          • Aug 3, 20131:33 am
            by CityofKlompton

            Well, that is true. He takes enough bad shots to even it out a little, but again, I reiterate this is undoubtedly an upgrade.

  • Aug 2, 201312:52 pm
    by Jerrific

    Reply

    It never really made sense that Stuckey lost the starting PG to Knight in the first place. Detroit wanted a Knight to be successful so bad they forced him into a role he clearly wasn’t ready for, and Stuckey, while by no means the answer at point guard, was better than Knight in every category besides three point shooting (and defense last season.) Knight still might turn into a decent pro, it’s not like all the playing time he received undeservedly hurts his development, but he’ll never be a star like the Pistons hoped. I have my doubts he’ll even turn into a quality starter, but I could see him turning into a useful bench player for 25 mpg. 

    • Aug 3, 201312:18 am
      by T Casey

      Reply

      During Knight’s rookie year, we played considerably better for the remainder of the season after he was made the starting pg. Even his numbers that year weren’t bad for a rookie pg. His problem was that he didn’t show any offensive growth in his second year so those same stats were no longer enough to justify him being the starting pg in the franchises eyes. However, despite his flaws as a player, he was still the best bet for the team to have starting at pg for much of his time here. 

  • Aug 2, 20131:00 pm
    by Gordbrown

    Reply

    I don’t really think it’s a matter of Knight being congenitally unable to be a decent point guard. But the thing that was so frustrating was that there was no progress in two years of big minutes in his ability to protect the ball. In fact, he was so careless that not only did he make completely unforced turnovers, but those turnovers often turned into easy scoring opportunities for opponents. The thing that I always found weird was that the Pistons have had such trouble developing young players by having them languish on the bench, but that they stunted Knight’s growth by pushing him beyond his limits, and even doubled down on this by switching him to SG rather than moving him to the backup off the bench role to which he was more suited (at this point of his development and which may even be his ceiling). Wonder what will happen in Milwaukee? Meanwhile, Jennings should thrive in a new environment with lots of targets to pass the ball.

  • Aug 2, 20131:00 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Dan nailed this.   I think part of the reason Knight was so destructive is that the Pistons had taken care of the ball well for so long.   The 2004 group were exceptional at not turning the ball over and even when the team got bad, Stuckey and Prince as the main ball handlers were elite for what they did in taking care of the ball.   Knight walked in, was just handed the starting point guard spot and suddenly the team was having trouble even getting the ball up the court and running any kind of offense consistently.   

  • Aug 2, 20131:08 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    So how do you explain Monroe’s massive uptick in TOs. Part of why I was so excited about him as a rookie was his Horford-esque ability to hang onto the ball. Now he throws it away about three times per game.

    I know that his one good season of taking care of the rock was before Knight was drafted, but are you really gonna put that on Knight? 

    • Aug 2, 20132:24 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I was thinking about Monroe’s TO’s too. He escaped blame in the article but when he got double-teamed he would cough it up pretty easily.

      • Aug 2, 20132:27 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        The team barely ran any offense through Monroe during his first season and he scored more like a garbage man player ala Cedric Ceballos.  

      • Aug 2, 20134:33 pm
        by G

        Reply

        I think people are willing to overlook Monroe’s turnovers for a couple of reasons. First, he had the offense run thru him more than it should’ve because Knight was terrible at setting guys up. Second, he did several other things well on a consistent basis (like make baskets, rebound, and pass) that made up for excessive turnovers. Knight didn’t do much of that stuff.

        • Aug 2, 20135:58 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I don’t mean to say that his TOs made Monroe a bad player. Just that he was a huge part of the reason the Pistons turned the ball over so much more these last two years.

          • Aug 4, 20134:14 pm
            by G

            Right, but what I’M saying is some of those TO’s have to be put on Knight. Monroe carried a larger part of the play making responsibilities because Knight wasn’t able to hold up his end of the bargain.

          • Aug 4, 201310:29 pm
            by tarsier

            We’ll see. If you’re right, there should be a significant dropoff this season.

  • Aug 2, 20131:26 pm
    by Oracle

    Reply

    If all of that is true, why were we worse with Calderon?

    Good move by Joe to get Jennings, but the reasons aren’t even close to what this article suggests!

    Even Calderon had to shoot more to compensate for how ineffective that team was, and Knight was not even close to being the main problem!   

    • Aug 2, 20131:33 pm
      by Gordbrown

      Reply

      Because Prince was worth more to the Pistons that Calderon could be (at least coming in midway through the season)? Because Knight was still on the floor inexplicably as starting SG? Because LFIAFI? Because Drummond got hurt? Because Stuckey was asked to play at the 3 and told to shoot 3s? Trading Prince for Calderon was a tank job. Unfortunately, the lottery screwed up that plan, although maybe KCP will make us all forget that.

  • Aug 2, 20131:30 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    I talked about this earlier in the year, BKs Braintype is more wired to be a successful shooting guard than a successful point guard; even though his body size is closer to a point guard.

    BKs greatest success is going to come with about 15 pounds of muscle in the next few years, either starting alongside a pass first player like Nate Wolters or being a scoring microwave 6th man of the year candidate.

    • Aug 2, 20131:31 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      I do know this: barring injury, BK will rise again!

      • Aug 2, 20132:06 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        agree with that sentiment.
        BK will be a quality, valuable nba player for the next 10 years.
        exactly what role he will play in the future remains to be seen.  if i had to guess, i’d say that he’ll end up as a jason terry type scorer who brings solid defense to his off the bench scoring.  there is always a place in the league for a guy like that and on a good team he can be a very important component.  in a couple of years, i could even imagine knight being a mike james level defensive pest.  combine that impact with solid long range shooting and you have a very solid, valuable backcourt asset.
        dan’s post is right on target.  cant argue with anything in it.
        i would, however, place 90% of the blame on the organization.
        knight is simply the latest example of the team ruining its young players by trying to force them into roles they are ill-suited to fill.  he is who he is, and it was the team’s duty to understand what type of player he was and put him in a situation where he could suceed.  but they did the exact opposite.
        they did it with jason maxiell.  they did it with amir johnson.  they did it with rodney stuckey.  they did it with austin daye.  they are doing it now with jerebko.  they did it with terrico white.  they did it with brandon knight.  they did it with singler, forcing him to laughably try to guard SGs when he struggles to even guard most SFs.
        he did it with ben gordon.  he even did it with rip once gordon came on board.
        it has been joe d’s pattern.  he becomes enthralled by a player’s “talent” and believes that his “talent” will allow him to play just about anywhere he decides to plug that player in.  so he sticks the player into a role he needs that player to fill, the player predictably fails because that role requires abilities outside of his skill set, and then joe d dumps a player whose value has plummeted because that player   has been a failure over the last season or so.
        i never liked knight as a player.  i hated the fact that detroit drafted him.  but once he got here, it was clear that he has nba talent if it is used correctly.  too bad he’s going to have to go someplace else in order to fulfill that promise. 

        • Aug 2, 20132:30 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          How did the Pistons ruin Terrico White?   I thought he got injured during the summer they drafted him and that ruined him.

          • Aug 2, 20133:26 pm
            by frankie d

            they tried to turn him into a point guard from the instant he put on the uniform.  first day of summer league he was running the point.  
            white was a physically gifted player – still is and is now bouncing around the league a bit – but he was absolutely not a pg.  trying to make him into a pg and then dumping him when he couldn’t fill that role is exactly what the team has repeatedly done with their young players.
            not quite as bad as knignt but similar in the way they handled him. 

          • Aug 3, 20137:56 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            @max you are correct

            Never heard anything about him being a PG … 

          • Aug 3, 20136:40 pm
            by frankie d

            Not true.  Go back and check the summer league games that year.  White started at the point and the plan was to shape him into a PG.

          • Aug 3, 20136:51 pm
            by frankie d

            Here is the link to their summer league games.  First 3 games white started at point.
            http://www.nba.com/summerleague2010/teams/piston
             

        • Aug 2, 20132:35 pm
          by Vic

          Reply

          Totally agreed… Square pegs go best in square holes, round pegs in round ones. Somebody will figure out how to use BK and they’ll be a better team for it.

          I agree that the Pistons have hyped guys up before their production warranted it… It’s been disappointing.  Hopefully this is a sign things are changing. Joes cutting losses quicker.

          • Aug 2, 20133:56 pm
            by Vic

            He’s kinda doing the same thing with Josh Smith at the 3… But honestly I see Smith playing more minutes at 4 giving Monroe/Drummond rest. Josh Smith insures that they have a competitive frontline even if someone gets injured.
            Hes a 3INO. The 3 battle is really between Datome/Singler/Jerebko

          • Aug 2, 20134:03 pm
            by tarsier

            “Square pegs go best in square holes, round pegs in round ones”

            I’m sure the Spurs are really happy that Popovich took that line of reasoning with a non-shooter like Kawhi. Ever heard of this thing called player development?

          • Aug 2, 20134:15 pm
            by frankie d

            the josh smith situation is a continuation of the same syndrome.
            after 9 years in the league, it is clear that while smith can rotate down to the 3 and be effective for short periods against certain lineups, his real value lies at the 4 spot.
            but joe gives him 56 million and is going to try to play him at what has been proven to be his worst spot. smith is not going to be “ruined” the same way young players’ careers were ruined, but he is certainly not being put in the best position to succeed and i guess we will see what happens as a result.
            and what type of cascading events happen as a result of smith coming here and being slotted into a position he is not competent to play. 

        • Aug 2, 20133:45 pm
          by Jerrific

          Reply

          This concept that Joe D is ruining talent is a bit ludicrous. He doesn’t control how players play on the floor. Of the players you’ve mentioned, the best ones project as good role players or marginally talented starters. The fact is, this team has been devoid of talent for a while now. Blaming Dumars for miscalculating and going after the wrong talent makes sense, but honestly, how is Dumars responsible for players like Maxiell, Stuckey, or Jerebko not playing well on the floor? The problem is these players were never all that talented to begin with. If they seem like they have been under developed, it’s because their potential was over stated. Shifting all of the blame from the players for not playing well to Dumars is like being angry at Stuckey or Knight for the crappy team Dumars assembled. 

          • Aug 2, 20133:57 pm
            by Max

            Frankie is nothing if not consistent and pretty much blames the organization and Dumars every way he can. I just think he is a frustrated fan of the team and I can identify with that but sometimes the players and coaches are to blame and sometimes as you said, they are just not that talented.   

          • Aug 2, 20134:00 pm
            by frankie d

            easy.
            maxiell is a very good off the bench energy guy.  
            if he’s allowed to come off the bench, create havoc for 20 minutes a night and just dunk and block shots and rebound, he is a nice piece on a good team.  trying to turn him into a starting center – as the  team did the last few years is ludicrous.
            stuckey?
            from the moment stuckey took over at the point some fans – including this one – screamed that he was il-suited to that role and that he should either be moved over to SG or that he should come off the bench as a combo guard who can use his PG skills with his SG mentality.  instead, we all know how long joe tried to make him into a starting PG.
            jerebko?
            he’s a guy who should spend 90% of his time hanging around the basket in order to take advantage of his energy and his willingness to bang regardless of the contact.  his most productive time in detroit was when he took over for tay at the SF spot, as he was able to use his superior size against smaller SFs.  instead, the team tried to turn him into a “stretch 4″.  
            all of those guys’ value on the market is far lower than it could be, if they’d been handled differently.
            it is management’s job to assemble talent so that players can do what they do best.  when players have to struggle to fit into roles the team wants them to “grow” into, there are problems.  
            this detroit team has been dealing with those problems for years now.
            and the blame lies directly with the guy solely responsible for putting the roster together: joe dumars. 

  • Aug 2, 20132:44 pm
    by Slap Dog Hoops (SDH)

    Reply

    All of this has to blamed on Dumars putting the hope of his team on a 20 year old kid who had never played point guard in his career.  What did you expect?  It is hard enough to play the point guard position let alone try to change a shooter into one.  The Pistons tried the same thing w/ Rodney Stuckey and that failed epic-ally to say the least.  

  • Aug 2, 20133:26 pm
    by GEORGIO

    Reply

    I don’t mean any harm Slap Dog but Point Guard is the only position Brandon Knight has played his whole career, he was a point guard in high school and at Kentucky. Same with Stuckey, he was a point guard in high school and in college. The fact is that in the NBA they were labeled as “combo guards” because they were shoot first point guards, just like Westbrook and Rose and many others.  They just lacked the elite athleticism to make it work. Joe drafted both to be point guards but it didn’t quite work out because they didn’t have point guard instincts nor the athleticism to overcome it. Most of the PGs coming into the NBA today are scorers first because usually they are the best players on their teams and the coach needs them to score so when they get to the NBA they have to learn how be PGs and run an offense and get other players involeved, some get it sooner than others.

    • Aug 2, 20135:34 pm
      by Gordbrown

      Reply

      Actually they were different, It is true that Knight only ever played point guard before he came to the Pistons. Stuckey had never played point guard officially before he came to the Pistons. Stuckey was particularly effective at point because of his height and he was (reasonably) successful because he could cover the 1 defensively and didn’t turn the ball over. He was also successful at the 2 as long as he had someone to whom to pass the ball when he drove to the hoop (but then that got derailed because Frank thought that the only system that would work had its two guard standing at the 3 point line). People keep fretting about using Smith at the 3, but I believe that Smith was used as a 3-4 in Atlanta more because it is harder to fill the 4 than because Smith “failed” as a 3. Actually statistics seem to suggest he’s better as a 3 as long as he can be convinced to knock off the long 2 shots (the worst shot in basketball). Frankly, use Smith and Datome at the three and work from our excess of bench quality 4s and see what happens. I’m betting that would work.

    • Aug 3, 20133:52 am
      by jeff m

      Reply

      Thats why we need to invest in siva some to see what he is going to turn out to be in the nba. He understands what is to be a point guard, and has lots of experiance doing it already.

  • Aug 2, 20133:53 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I even start to take this serious … but will be watch night closely

    • Aug 2, 20134:16 pm
      by stuckeyandwhoever

      Reply

       this has to be killing everything you know about basketball right now

  • Aug 2, 20134:03 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Brandon Knight at point guard comes down to this:  Who cares if you can shoot, play defense and have athletic ability if you can’t take care of the ball or initiate offense when you’re a point guard?   Brandon Knight is arguably not one of the 60 best point guards.   Would you really want him as a primary backup point guard?  I think he has value as a backup shooting guard but that is it.  

    • Aug 2, 20135:01 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      This is absurd. His AST:TO ratio is awful, but he isn’t actually that bad about throwing the ball away, he just doesn’t get many assists. And he is definitely a top 60 PG.

      His greatest weakness at that spot is his AST:TO ratio, and he is the 50th best PG (79th player overall) in the NBA by that metric alone.

      • Aug 2, 201310:14 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Well, then there are probably about 50 point guards better than him.  The most important threshold for whether a player is a point guard is that assist to turnover ratio and whether they get assists.   Knight doesn’t do these things.   Therefore, he’s a shooting guard and team’s backup point guards since they can do these things are better.   Which team’s backups do you think Knight is better than?             

        Off the top of my head, these players, some combos, are all better backup point guards:  Miller, Jack, Robinson, Bynum, Stuckey, Billups, Watson, Bledsoe, Augustine, Collison, M. Williams, Heinrich, Brooks, Thomas, Terry, Nelson, Reddick, Jackson.  I’m sure I’m leaving a few out but you get my point even if you disagree with it.   Which of these players doesn’t take care of the ball better than Knight while getting more assists?    

        • Aug 2, 201310:42 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          You can add Dololing, Udrih and Ridnour to my list if he’s a backup to Knight but Ridnour should most definitely start if the Bucks aren’t tanking from game one.   I know you think he’s a joke but the Bucks have started him before and even Dan, or was it Patrick?—suggested Ridnour could start ahead of Knight.  

        • Aug 3, 20131:05 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          If he is the 50th best PG in the league by his absolute weakest standard, you think that makes him the 50th best period? Do you know how inane that is? Obviously he is well above 50th by any other measure. Even if that is the most important stat, you are essentially claiming it is the only important stat. And that’s bullshit.

          Knight is better than most backup PGs. Heck, he’s better than the starting PG for the team that won it all. Seriously, I dare you to make a case for Chalmers over Knight.

          • Aug 3, 20132:46 pm
            by Max

            I agree Knight is better than Chalmers but think all the backups I named are better than Chalmers too.   Who cares if he won the title.  Steve Kerr wasn’t a point guard either but just a shooter who played with 2 great wings who could run the point.   If you put Knight on a team where he wouldn’t have to bring the ball up of distribute he’d be just fine too.  

            After naming all those players, I convinced myself that Knight is arguably not among the 60 best point guards again as I original stated.   He should be a backup shooting guard and he would be one of the better ones.    It’s not just about assist to turnover ratio but more importantly assists and even more importantly his weak handle and total lack of vision.  

            We will see if he beats out Ridnour although he might just get handed the job over superior point guards like he did in Detroit.    It’s funny, you never argued with me much before when I was saying he was the third best point guard on the Pistons.   

          • Aug 3, 20133:32 pm
            by Max

            Just looked up another important stat that is very close to agreeing with with my take.   

            Brandon Knight finished 57th among point guards in PER last season.  27 point guards who figure to be backups this season were ahead of Brandon Knight.     Brooks and Augustine were the only 2 players I named with a lower PER.   

            BTW: Add Sessions as a better backup than Knight.   

          • Aug 3, 201310:27 pm
            by tarsier

            look, I don’t think Knight is very good. I would say that he has been one of the worst starting PGs inthe league for two years. But he is a whole lot better than most backups. And while Stuckey was better, I wouldn’t claim Bynum was. He may have been, but it’s ahrd to tell because Bynum rarely got extended minutes against starter-caliber opponents.

          • Aug 4, 20132:50 pm
            by Max

            Bynum has produced pretty well in games he has started throughout his career.   Don’t just say Knight is better than most backups but tell me why he is better.   These players I’ve named pretty much all take care of the ball better than Knight and pretty much all distribute much better than Knight.   Backups are mostly for treading water and nothing is worse and more demoralizing in a backup point guard than just losing the ball and giving the other team fast breaks.

            I’ve been thinking about Knight and it struck me that I would love to see a breakdown of what second into the shot clock that a player turns the ball over because I think Knight would lead the league or come close in terms of turning the ball over the earliest in the shot clock.    If true, it would mean his turnovers are worse than the average turnover.   

          • Aug 4, 20132:58 pm
            by Max

            Also, Bynum knows how to run the pick and roll and throw accurate lobs.   He also hits the 2:1 assist to turnover ratio for his career.    Just these factors go a long way towards saying he is flat out better than Knight as a point guard.    

          • Aug 4, 201310:40 pm
            by tarsier

            Look at their numbers on the whole, not just AST:TO ratio. And remember, Knight isn’t that bad for TOs. Not great, but not awful. The real problem was the lack of assists. And then remember that all these guys who put up comparable numbers to Knight (better assists, worse in many other ways) did so against reserves. Knight did his work against starters.

            The reason I don’t make a more in-depth case is that you threw out too many names. I’m not going to do a point-by-point comparison with all of them.

          • Aug 4, 201310:56 pm
            by Max

            Knight lacks the skills to get assists as with my saying he can’t run pick and roll–an argument you conveniently didn’t take up.  He is awful with turnovers because he is awful at taking care of the ball.  His inability to protect the ball is not just about turnovers either because even during plays when he doesn’t turn the ball over, other team’s pressure forces him to give up the ball when others wouldn’t have to and forces him to take too long to get a team into their offense.  

            Also, I’m not buying this playing against reserves argument.   There is no real consistency to whether backups play against starters or reserves and the truth is that both starters and reserves play against starters and reserves.  Further, starters are not necessarily better at playing defense and we are talking about Knight’s offense in terms of your argument so the defender is really the question.  A lot of teams feature a better defender at point guard off the bench because the ability to run a team is the most important skill required of a starting point guard.  

            BTW:  Didn’t you ask someone on another thread to detail why Knight was more suited to play the point than the shooting guard?   That question made it sound like you didn’t think he was a point guard either.  I’m starting to think you like playing devil’s advocate.   

          • Aug 5, 20132:04 am
            by oats

            @ Max. That’s just not true. Most backup PGs are worse defenders than the guys that start over them. They are backups because they are marginal players. Eric Bledsoe is the only backup PG I can think of who is primarily a defensive player, but he’s been backing up Chris Paul so he isn’t significantly better than the starter though. I guess you can argue for Avery Bradley or Iman Shumpert, but those guys tend to play at SG and Bradley is also backing up a really good defender. Hinrich pretty much only plays the point when Rose is injured, and Rose is also a very solid defender. I guess Jarrett Jack behind Curry and Sessions behind Walker are also better defenders than the starters, but they aren’t actually good defenders. I guess Nolan Smith is a better defender than Lillard even if he stinks, but Smith was replaced by Eric Maynor midway through the season who is at best the same kind of defensive liability as Lillard. Oh, and whoever is backing up Calderon also defaults to being better than the starter. So, at most 8 backups are better defenders, but that still leaves 22 starters who are better defenders. That’s actually the #1 reason that Knight is better than some of those backups you’ve listed. He is just a way better defender than pretty much all of these guys. 
             
            By the way, I think Knight is a better shooting guard than point guard. I also think he is not a good enough shooting guard to start at that position. Despite those two points, I would still rank Knight as a top 40 PG in the league. That is not a contradictory opinion. Knight can be a vaguely competent reserve point guard but a slightly better backup shooting guard.Being better at SG doesn’t mean he is not viable as a backup PG, which was what you were arguing to start this. I would go on to say that it would be a mistake to limit him to only playing one position. He’s good enough to get minutes at both spots, and he is more valuable if he is used that way.

          • Aug 5, 20132:57 am
            by Max

            I didn’t say anything like most backups are better defenders.   And you can add whoever backs up Nash as probably being a better defender.   Also, don’t know why you are using last year’s rosters versus this year’s rosters.  Bledsoe will probably now be backing up Dragic at PG unless he starts and Jack will now be backing up Kyrie Irving.  Further, most teams have more than one backup at point guard and some of those players are better defenders than the starter.   Stuckey for instance could see some time as a backup PG next year and he’s a better defender than Jennings.  There are definitely more than 8 teams that have a player who is better at defending the point than their starter.  Even Miami who starts a good defender at PG in Chalmers have better options if they really want to lock up a PG as James proved 2 years ago in the playoffs when he guarded Rose.  

          • Aug 5, 20138:54 am
            by oats

            We’re evaluating Knight’s past performance and the past performance of backup PGs, so I need to use old rosters and not the new ones because they don’t have much bearing on who has been better so far. It really only works with past rosters, and last year’s is fairly representative of what you’d find in any given year anyways. The LeBron point has no bearing on this since he doesn’t guard any of these guys anyways. I looked at PGs for a reason, they were relevant to the argument at hand. I guess I might have missed that Steve Nash is backed up by Steve Blake and Chris Duhon, and I guess Duhon is the best defender in that group by default. That’s not a very substantial argument though. There’s still roughly twice as many teams whose best defensive PG is the starter as there are with a defensive sub on the bench. There are roughly as many teams where the starter is roughly tied for the best defender at his position as there are teams where the better defender is on the bench, and those are all teams with no defensive minded PGs on the roster. The fact of the matter is that very few teams have a defensive minded PG on the bench.
             
            You know what, the goal line is moving too much and I’d like to get back on point. Your claim started with Knight is arguably not a top 60 PG. I think you are way off on that assertion. The main reason is that Knight is a way better defender than anyone on your list but Bledsoe and Hinrich. Then keep in mind he is better at eating up minutes than most of them, and he is a much better shooter than a couple of them too. Those things have value. Some of the guys I agree are better than Knight. I’d give an edge to Bledsoe, Hinrich, Jack, Miller, Stuckey, Nelson, Williams, Jackson, and Ridnour. I’d add Sessions to that group as well. Thomas has an argument due to his shooting efficiency, but his defense is abysmal so I think I’m calling that one a draw. I’d also take Knight over Chalmers, so that puts him at roughly 40. That’s about my cut off line.
             
            I know you also had that thing with PER, but PER is kind of a useless stat for this argument. For starters, per minute stats on anything less than 20 minutes a game are pretty meaningless. That threw 10 names out the window already. Then there is the fact that taking more shots always equals a higher PER due to how low the shooting threshold is set for that metric. That’s how you get things like Kemba Walker at 8 on the PG list. I want to repeat that. Kemba Walker is rated as the 8th best PG by PER, so can we agree that it might not be the best stat for evaluating PGs? PER is also awful at identifying quality defenders who don’t get steals or blocks, and Knight qualifies for that. 57th is lower than I would have expected, but it’s such a bad stat that it just doesn’t mean much to me.

          • Aug 5, 201310:50 am
            by tarsier

            I do think Knight is better suited to SG than PG. And I do think he is really awful for a starting PG. But I think he is pretty good for a backup PG.

            We’re talking degrees here. Knight is solidly a rotation caliber player at either guard spot. You claim he is not a top 60 PG. Others claim that he is actually a good starting PG and belong sin the same tier as a player with Monroe and Drummond. Both of these statements are absurd. The truth is in between them.

            So yes, it does often look like I play devil’s advocate because for most players on the Pistons, I think they are better than a lot of fans do and worse than a lot of fans do. It’s part of why I am so convinced that I am probably right (the truth is almost always in the middle). And so I argue both ways about guys.

          • Aug 5, 20137:39 pm
            by G

            Uh, guys? Mario Chalmers IS a better PG than Knight right now. Would I actually TAKE Chalmers over Knight? No, because I believe Knight has more upside. But Chalmers shot better, had a better AST/TOV ratio, and defended MUCH better than Knight, albeit in a smaller role with hugely better teammates. But in a black hole, Chalmers was better than Knight last year.

          • Aug 5, 20138:00 pm
            by oats

            @ G. Looking it over again, and you are right. I’d rate Chalmers ahead of him. He’s definitely benefiting from a ridiculously scaled back role and a team more capable of covering for him defensively, but he’s still better.

          • Aug 5, 201311:10 pm
            by Max

            @Oats   Thanks for saying we are moving the goals line too much because you are right.  A couple of things though.   All this stuff about defense is about Tarsier saying Knight should be given some kind of benefit of the doubt when being compared to reserves because he played against starters who don’t defend as well as backups.   Therefore, a push, as in an equal defender, is a win for my line of thinking.   However, I think my stronger argument was that starters play against starters and reserves and that reserves play against starters and reserves.   Neither of you took on that point.  

            I’m not a big fan of using the PER stat for much but he was accusing me of relying too heavily on assist to turnover ratio in my evaluation of Knight and the other point guards.   This was not strictly true since assists by themselves was also a big part of what I was saying.   So when I found he was 57th in PER among point guards it was just another stat to throw in that agreed strongly with what I was saying.  

            Also, an ability to eat up a lot of minutes is pretty inconsequential when you are talking about players who you don’t want to play that many minutes.   I think you are overrating Knight a bit with the idea that he is so good defensively and as a shooter and there are backup point guards who are much better shooters than him.   

            @Tarsier   I agree with you that we are talking about degrees here but I’m at least also talking about philosophy.  For me it comes down to the title of Dan’s article, “How Brandon Knight ruined the Pistons offense and why he had to go”.   I’m just not comfortable with the ball in his hands, the skill set he brings to the position and the decisions he makes.    I feel better about most veteran backups in this regard and think whatever they lack in shooting or defense is made up by employing steadier hands.   That’s the bottom line of what I want out of a point guard whether he is starting or not.   

            @G  Like many others here have stated, Knight is better suited to being a shooting guard and in Miami in Chalmers place, he could play that role and gets tons of wide open looks where he gets passes in rhythm and doesn’t have to think.  Miami is the perfect place for either player because they could play the right position for their body types even though they don’t have the right skill set.   Comparing the two players is therefore very difficult because it’s basically calling one player better than the other because he performed better even though they weren’t given similarly difficult tasks.

        • Aug 3, 20131:08 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Also, there is nobody in the NBA named Reddick. And there’s nobody who ever plays PG in the league named Redick either.

          • Aug 3, 20132:48 pm
            by Max

            Redick ran the point through sections of last year due to injuries and averaged a lot more assists than Knight when he was doing so and a lot less turnovers.    He’s also a better shooter.   Good enough for me.

      • Aug 2, 201310:19 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        And he can’t take care of the ball, Tarsier.   I’ve never seen a starting point guard who struggled more to get the ball past half court with even a little bit of pressure.  

  • Aug 2, 20134:18 pm
    by stuckeyandwhoever

    Reply

    Great article Dan
     

  • Aug 2, 20135:00 pm
    by Caligula

    Reply

    Interesting to note some people think playing ‘PG’ positions throughout their entire bball careers translates anything in real professional standards. The exception goes for those with unreal court vision or athleticism. For Brandon Knight, I think it was a similar situation like chauncey billups who never got a proper mentor on how to play point guard until he did his tenure with Flip Saunders in Minny. I don’t think Knight has Billup’s potential, but running the offense with court vision or athleticism certainly takes time unless you have shown the ability to do so. I think more blame goes to management for not building talent right, which shows the current attitude of Dumars who hasn’t built a young talent up but is willing to spend money to be an 8-seed team.

  • Aug 2, 20135:26 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Bottom line, the Pistons are trying to win and compete now.  Gores said I want to make the playoffs, they now possess a playoff competitive roster.  You have to start somewhere.  Getting Jennings for Knight accelerates this process.  We didnt overpay.  Joe has given us a starting point and is attempting to wipe out the horrors of the last few seasons. 
     
    You have to give up talent to get talent.  For all those who tired of the stuckey experiments (when he was a point then a two then a point) realize that they didnt waste time doing that with Knight.  The opportunity was there to grab a guy who IS CLEARLY a point guard (with flaws) but has the court vision and creativity that Knight just doesnt possess at this stage in his career.  Again we did not overpay so I cant see how this is damaging to the Pistons.  If it all blows up then the Dumars haters will get their wish to see him fired.  Its Win-Win.  The Pistons are relevant again and I cant wait for the season to start.  I have no qualms about this.  I want to see how it works.

  • Aug 2, 20135:58 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    Pistons are definitely trying to win now… I just heard that mo cheeks offered Lionell Hollins the chance to be his number one assistant.

  • Aug 2, 20136:00 pm
    by King Ryan

    Reply

    Plus Woodson loves small ball 

  • Aug 2, 20136:06 pm
    by Windy

    Reply

    We upgraded at PG period. Jennings has room to grow…but he does pose an actual threat…if unchecked he can kill ya…not a strong defender but we do have a heck of a front court that could erase a lot of mistakes…Jennings gambles and creates turnovers, he can finish in transition and adds a dynamic we need…3/24 mil is a fair contract that’s forsure…won’t buckle us going forward and he is still so young(same age as Damian Lillard)…You gotta believe that under the coaching of Cheeks and Billups this guy can learn to run the point like we need…everyone wanted Rondo but giving up Monroe to get a pg who is 27 an coming off a bum knee is a major gamble…Jennings is a nice piece…glad to see Joe going out and making this team better both athletically and maintain the youth

  • Aug 2, 20138:03 pm
    by Mythx

    Reply

    Joe may not have many moves left this year. Philly needs to take on quite a bit of salary to meet the floor.  I would love to see us trade Stucky  to them for a cheese steak and a 2nd rounder and take a run at DeShawn Stevenson.  We only have one real SG on the team. Adding a wing defender in case Pope is a disaster might not be a bad idea

    • Aug 3, 20132:15 am
      by Quin

      Reply

      That loser Stephenson? I can’t stand that dude. I like players with edge most of the time, but Stephenson is a joke. A bad distraction from playing good ball. He belongs on a team like the Knicks.

      • Aug 3, 20132:52 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I love Stephenson because of his open contentiousness with the athlete I like least in all the world.   Any player who is anti-LeBum gets it and hasn’t lost touch.   

        • Aug 5, 201311:55 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          Then you should hate him because he just begged Lebron to pull strings to play for the Heat on twitter.

          • Aug 5, 201311:11 pm
            by Max

            Okay, I hate him.  

  • Aug 2, 20139:00 pm
    by David

    Reply

    Kind of a half full glass for me cause I am a Kentucky basketball fan and a Pistons fans. I have been watching Knight for the last 3 years and what I don’t like about him, Jennings has a little too much of but I’d take it any day is being aggressive. To me Knight settles for too many jump shots rather than taking the ball to the basket. All the other issues like turnovers & assists he could be better at as well, but he will be okay I think, he can hit big shots when needed I think he will be a late bloomer 

  • Aug 2, 201310:50 pm
    by qm_22

    Reply

    I agree with the article a lot. I think a major problem was the strange mandate that Knight was a lotto level talent and his good chance of being a franchise PG was taken for granted. Frank immediately went to Knight, as far as PT and starting goes, but did not seem to adapt the rotations and gameplan to his strength. As I remember, Knight looked way better in the second half of year 1 when he had Stuckey there to switch ball handling duties when needed.
    Despite being thrust into a starting role and big minutes for unjustified reasons, in year 2 it felt like Knight had no consistent job. It sometimes gave the impression of experimenting. It’s hard to believe how little progress was made with Knight on some of the basics, like pick and roll and other fundamental plays. It is one thing to lack talent at the PG position, but another to make so little progress in the basics. I’m glad we traded Knight but at the same time expect he is going to make a leap in Milwaukee if they have a better coach and more stable role for him.

  • Aug 3, 20134:58 am
    by WilliezWorld

    Reply

    I’m not a fan of the idea of trading away Moose.  I agree with Shinons assessment that he is a rare post talent, and if he is moved the price tag should be very, very high (http://www.detroitbadboys.com/2013/7/30/4561408/nba-trade-rumors-a-look-at-greg-monroes-trade-value).  I believe that there is definitely more potential to massage a lineup with him, J-Smoove and Andre into a strong – maybe even dominant – rotation than there is of replacing his talent with requisite value.  Having said that, I played around with the ESPN trade machine and I developed a couple of scenarios – both of which involve the Warriors and Blazers – that I think should be explored, depending on how the three are fitting together as the trade deadline approaches:

    Option 1
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=mrukluz
    Pistons get: A. Bogut, H. Barnes, K. Thompson
    Warriors get: L. Aldridge, J. Jerebko
    Blazers get: Charlie V, Moose

    Option 2
    Pistons get: H. Barnes, K. Thompson, M. Leonard
    Warriors get: L. Aldridge, R. Stuckey
    Blazers get: A. Bogut, G. Monroe

    Honestly, my preference would be option 2, and I also think that would be the most tenable deal for all three teams.  The Pistons get fair value for Moose, the Blazers get a replacement for Aldridge and cap space a year early (to slide him into) as well as first dibs on re-signing a tremendous (albeit fragile) defensive center in Bogut, and the Warriors get a big man who fits their system, as well as some cap relief this year.  

    The Warriors would end up with $9M to spend in free agency the next year and a core nucleus of D. Lee, Iggy, Curry, and Aldridge as well as key reserves Ezeli, Speights and Green, each of whom could conceivably played large roles for the team moving forward.

    The Blazers would move $14M of cap space from 2015 to 2014 – a move that very necessary for a team that is essentially strapped in 2014 – while leaving another $21M available in 2015.  This leaves them with plenty of options to stock up around a core of Lillard, McCollum, Batum and Moose while still having the flexibility to extend Lillard at the max in 2016.

    In the end, the Pistons would still be left with about $14M in cap space once CV comes off the books (with the option to pick up or let Chauncey walk which could push it to $16M) after next season, as well as some moveable assets that become instantly expendable (Jerebko, Singler, Bynum) all on expiring contracts next year.  The roster becomes more balanced in the short-run, with a top 12 looking like this:

    PG – B. Jennings
    SG – K. Thompson
    SF – H. Barnes
    PF – J. Smith
    C – A. Drummond
    1 – (SG/PG) C. Billups
    2 – (SG) K. Caldwell-Pope
    3 – (SF) L. Datome
    4 – (C) M. Leonard
    5 – (PF) T. Mitchell
    6 – (PG) W. Bynum
    7 – (SF) K. Singler
    Barnes and Thompson become the spot-up shooters that can spread the floor for the Smith/Drummond combination down low.  The frontline defense improves as Barnes sliding into the SF slot and Smith playing PF leaves no weak spot among the three, and our options for small ball instantly become among the best in the league.  Consider a lineup of Jennings, KCP, Klay, Barnes, and J-Smoove/Drummond which could be used for extended minutes by subbing Luigi in for any of the 2/3/4 positions and rotating Smoove and Drummond at the 5 with Bynum maintaining the pace that Jennings sets.

    The obvious area for upgrade is still at the SF position, but Barnes has a ton of upside and could really blossom in the starting spot.  We’d have a serviceable backup C, as well as Mitchell’s talents which are really icing on the cake.  I could see this group challenging for the 3/4/5 spot in the East in 2014-15 and maybe even more with the addition of a dominant scorer to push either Klay or Barnes to the bench.

    In final analysis, however, I still like our chances with one of the biggest frontlines in the league in Smith/Monroe/Drummond.  I hope that any deals that happen at the deadline are made with the goal of improving the chances of success for that group, as opposed to breaking that group up.  If a deal MUST happen, I hope it looks like Option 2, but could be happy settling for Option 1 instead, and I think the Blazers and Warriors are both in positions where it makes sense for them to listen to this type of a scenario.

    • Aug 3, 20136:35 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Warriors give up Barnes, Thompson, and Bogut for Aldridge and Stuckey? No way they should do that. I could see one of each Barnes and Thompson and maybe Lee instead of the other, but I can’t imagine them giving up both young wings. If you give up both their wing players, they suddenly have no “system”.

      • Aug 3, 20138:37 pm
        by WilliezWorld

        Reply

        They give up two role players for a legit All-Star. I agree, they might hope to part with David Lee as opposed to Bogut, and I think that may be ok with Portland. But an inside-outside combo of Aldridge and Curry is instantlyalone of the top duos in the league. Plus, with Bogut (in the Lee scenario)resigned at a more cap-friendly number, the only defensive liability they have is Curry. They’re not trading the wings for Stuckey, they’re getting back cap relief that they desperately need. They can find a role player on the market to fill the spot up shooter role, and Iggy is frankly pushing Barnes back to the bench anyways. 

        • Aug 4, 201311:18 am
          by frankie d

          Reply

          Inside/outside?  Who is the inside guy?  Certainly not aldridge, a guy who spends most of his time shooting 12 foot jumpers.

          “ 

      • Aug 3, 20138:54 pm
        by WilliezWorld

        Reply

        Don’t sell Aldridge short, he’s a top tier PF and those guys don’t grow on trees. 3 & D wings are much more common than primary option level PF talent.

        • Aug 4, 201310:58 am
          by Desolation Row

          Reply

          I don’t disagree that, talent for talent (today), this isn’t a bad move. But. I’m still not convinced they make this deal. This is the best-used/most-used lineup in last season’s playoffs that brought them within a Stephen Curry ankle re-aggravation of making the NBA Finals:
          - Bogut (C)
          - Barnes (PF)
          - Thompson (SF)
          - Jack (SG)
          - Curry (PG)

          You’re proposing they change pretty much all of it except Curry. Barnes and Thompson aren’t really role players as much as cornerstones to that team’s overachieving season last year — as second and first-year players. Yes, the talent swap is solid, but they lose all their shooting and perimeter play with that trade. My point isn’t that they suck with the trade, but that they have no “system” carrying over from last season. They’re looking to dump Bogut or Lee or both, and would probably move one of Barnes or Thompson to make it happen. But I don’t see them moving both. But that’s just me; it’d be an interesting move if it did go down!

          • Aug 4, 20138:36 pm
            by WilliezWorld

            Jack is gone, sure you could sub Iggy in for him and run with this same lineup – and that’s likely what they will do – but that line up would have gotten them a date with Memphis.  I’m not convinced they could have beat Memphis, but that’s an argument for another day.  In the re-tooled West, they are still #5 or 6 considering the improvements LAC and Memphis made, as well as the ascension of Houston; SAS and OKC aren’t going anywhere.  So, essentially you have a team that has a ceiling.  Maybe they capture lightning in a bottle twice and go on a great run next year, but if they’re facing a first round opponent of Houston or LAC, I can’t see their small-ball working the same magic as it did against a depleted Denver squad.  

            They’re management team does not strike me as the type to sit on their hands. If the “system” that they’re carrying over from last year appears to be stalling around the 6th seed out West,  come February, I can see them trading 2 “system” guys and a dead-weight (Lee) for a top 5 PF in his prime who clearly wants out of his current situation.

            The question is, if the Pistons are in a position where they don’t think the Smith/Monroe/Drummond experiment is working or has a future, then can Joe D make that actually come to fruition.  It may take another sweetner (say KCP or future picks), but I could see it happening. 

          • Aug 5, 201312:05 am
            by Desolation Row

            You’re right, but I don’t think they’re a 5 or 6 seed team in the West. Their young guys now have deep playoff experience under their belts, a resolved sense of confidence, and are another year more experienced and developed. Moreover, the Warriors have found they can play Barnes at the 4 in small-ball and be devastating against opponents. Adding that Iggy is an upgrade to the mix, and I doubt they make the trade you proposed with both Barnes and Thompson unless, like you said, they’re 5 or 6 come January and need to make another move. 

            TL;DR — I don’t think the young guys will stagnate YoY in November-April, and that will propel them to a higher seed in the West. 

            Disclaimer: I live in the Bay Area and have been following the Warriors for a while. I’m still a diehard Pistons fan, but the Warriors play at 7:30 and the Pistons at 4:30. To say nothing of the unwatchability of my beloved team pre-Drummond.  

          • Aug 5, 20134:07 am
            by WilliezWorld

            They are definitely the wild card team in the West. I don’t think it is so much as they are stagnating, as the teams ahead of them have either improved by similar if not greater margins (Memphis, LAC, Houston) or are simply too far ahead of them to be caught (SAS, OKC; although, if they do supplant a team in the top 5 its likely to be SAS who may fall, but even that is not likely). I could easily see Houston rising to the number 3 spot behind LAC and OKC, followed by SAS and Memphis/GS who I consider somewhat interchangeable at the 5/6 spot.

            Either way, they should be an exciting team to watch and this whole conversation, I think, is an exercise in the academic.  I truly don’t think Detroit will be in a position where we seriously consider getting rid of Moose at the trade deadline.  More likely that we will dump Stuckey or CV for a true shooter on the wing.

            Do you go to many Warriors games? That place always looks like its a ridiculously fun atmosphere.  I’d love to catch a game live out there! 

        • Aug 4, 201311:23 am
          by frankie d

          Reply

          And alxridge as a “primary” option?
          Hilarious.Anyone who has watched him play knows that he is not one.  And most importantly that he doesnt want the burden of being one which is why he is trying to get traded to a team where he can be the 2nd or 3rd best player   on the team.  Talentwise?  Sure.  But he wilts under the pressure that comes with that burden.

          • Aug 4, 20138:28 pm
            by WilliezWorld

            You’re halping me make my case, Frankie, whether you know it or not.  In GS, he doesn’t have to be a primary option, as long as Steph Curry has two good ankles (which, admittedly is tenuous enough) he is going to be the #1 guy on that team.  Hell, in a pinch, Iggy is going to be the playmaker as option 2.  So now you have a legit 20ppg 9rpg guy coming in who also plays defense and lining him up with Bogut (who becomes much more affordable to resign after this year given his injury history) and some money to go get another wing shooter.  No one has still yet convinced me that they don’t make this move, especially if Lee is subbed in for Bogut from my original scenario.

          • Aug 5, 20135:04 pm
            by frankie d

            i certainly think he could add something to the GS team and it would definitely help that there is already a star who will take the spotlight off him.
            only problem is if they imagine he will be an inside force.  take a look at his shooting chart and numbers over at BB reference.  he shoots an overwhelming number of jumpers and he shoots more of his jumpers from 16+ feet than any other spot.  
            aldridge is a very good player and he can be quite effective, as long as you realize what kind of player he is.
            he is a perimeter shooting PF who plays good defense, but he is vulnerable to guys who bang low.  and don’t expect him to take last second shots.  there have been some hilarious plays at the end of games where aldridge treats the ball as though it were radioactive, as he very obviously doesn’t want anything to do with pressure shots.
            again, as long as you know what kind of player he is, he’s a solid piece and could be a valuable member of a team that goes deep into the playoffs. 

  • Aug 3, 20138:14 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Sorry our team was terrible, brandon never had a chance …and everyone knew he was more of a scoring pg perfect for a team that lacked scoring but he used that way and struggled as a pass-first pg but played well in other areas….

    • Aug 3, 20138:15 am
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      “Stood a chance”

  • Aug 3, 20139:56 am
    by Lexstarbuck

    Reply

    I didn’t think Knight was a bad PG at all, yeah, he was turnover prone, but he played hard. Not much you can say for Stuckey. One other thing I think noones pointed out is the fact that he had a crappy coach his first two years. He’s going to turn out to be better than most of you project. Mike Conley was the same way his first few years in the league, BK will definitely get better and come back to be a thorn in our sides. I don’t know if the Pistons have had a decent HC/AC to even teach PG skills in forever.

    • Aug 3, 20132:58 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Mike Conley averaged more assists and fewer turnovers as a rookie than Knight did last year and Conley was over the 2:1 assist to turnover ratio.  Bad comparison.  

    • Aug 3, 20137:23 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Conley played with a different level of talent….

      I hate the idea that knight stood a chance! He will likely play well with the Bucks…but Jennings is another level than Knight is as a passer…. And if that’s what we valued, and that’s what he provides I’m all for it 

      • Aug 5, 201310:25 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        If Knight played bad because of his situation I don’t think next year will be much better.  I can’t imagine the situation with the Bucks will be that much better really. 

  • Aug 3, 20139:56 am
    by Lexstarbuck

    Reply

    Well Larry Brown.
     

  • Aug 3, 201311:19 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    So glad he’s gone. 

  • Aug 3, 20138:43 pm
    by Justin

    Reply

    How about Will Bynum traded to the pelicans for Stiesma 
    Then a block buster 3 team trade involving the Knicks Warriors and Pistons
    Pistons Receive: Carmelo and JR Smith
    Knicks Receive: Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes
    Warriors Receive: Monroe Stuck CV and Singler 
    PG: Jennings, Billups , Siva
    SG: Caldwell-Pope, JR Smith
    SF: Carmelo, Luigi
    PF: Smith, Mithcell
    C: Drummond, Stiesma 
    Nasty lineup, and Carmelo might actually get himself a ring.       
          
          

         

    • Aug 4, 201312:25 am
      by timetodienow1234567

      Reply

      I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or serious. If you’re being sarcastic, learn better methods to convey your sarcasm. If you’re serious, then I feel sorry for you.

    • Aug 5, 201312:14 am
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      No way the Warriors make the deal. See: my thoughts above on another three-team proposition. 

      No way the Knicks make the deal, even though they probably should in my opinion.  

  • Aug 3, 20138:45 pm
    by timetodienow1234567

    Reply

    So Knight was the reason we sucked…….. Thank you Dan. I think the Pistons are now a contender now that Knight is gone. He obviously doesn’t deserve to play in the NBA. You know what, you should be a GM with your astute analysis.

    • Aug 5, 201312:12 am
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      You know what, you should move up to fifth grade with your astute reading comprehension. 

  • Aug 4, 20133:16 am
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Hey Dan, I know this is off-topic, but does anyone know if the Pistons have already signed Jennings and when will he be introduced by team?

  • Aug 4, 20134:57 am
    by T Casey

    Reply

    I’m sure our offense sucked more due to poor coaching than anything. We had easily one of the least successful coaches at the helm. When you coach 2 straight franchises to franchise worst starts, you’re the big problem.

    • Aug 4, 20135:47 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      Keeping coaching records in mind, do you think our offense and defense will still suck under Cheeks, a coach of relatively equal pedigree compared to Frank?

      • Aug 5, 201312:26 am
        by T Casey

        Reply

        I’m not really high on Mo Cheeks either tbh. I think he’ll be a better coach than Frank, but by probably not by much. His having played in the nba means his feel for the game and it’s flow should be better. Cheeks may never have molded any great teams, but he’s also never done as abysmally as Frank has at two consecutive stops so that’s a plus over Frank.

  • Aug 4, 20134:46 pm
    by MrShourite

    Reply

    So tired of the Knight apologists, still trying to justify his horrible play by blaming the coaches and the teammates. What part falls on the player? Let’s just face it and call it what it is. Knight was not the answer for our point guard needs. The bigger question is why did Joe pass on PGs in the draft if he realized Knight wasn’t our guy? Does he view KCP as the superior player? Did he plan on upgrading the pg position by trade or free agency? Just something to think about in moving on from the BK7 era.  

  • Aug 4, 20136:30 pm
    by Eric

    Reply

    I heard the Pistons are still trying to trade for Rondo, being reported on ESPN.  Can the Pistons trade Brandon Jennings and Monroe to Boston for Rondo now or would they have to wait until next year?

    • Aug 5, 201312:08 am
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      I don’t believe they can trade Jennings right now, but I think there is some sort of rule that they can trade him later on in the season. I’m not a contract expert, but I think he becomes tradable right around the time Rondo projects to be healthy enough to have played a few games and show teams whether or not he’s recovered.

    • Aug 5, 20132:38 am
      by oats

      Reply

      Jennings can be traded on December 15. Trading Monroe with Jennings for Rondo is unbelievably stupid though. Monroe is worth more than Rondo, but also sending out Jennings in the deal when Boston has so few assets to send back just makes no sense.

      • Aug 5, 20134:10 am
        by WilliezWorld

        Reply

        The only way I’d even remotely consider that deal is if we got back Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger as a backup PF and a future pick (even if it isn’t 2014). No other scenario makes sense. 

  • Aug 4, 20137:54 pm
    by CommonCents

    Reply

    A solid shooter the last concern now for Pistons

    • Aug 5, 201310:28 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      KCP, Billups and Datome are supposed to be that (maybe even Singler).  No way they add another wing or guard with no back up Center.

  • Aug 4, 201311:20 pm
    by Jeff

    Reply

    I bet this article will be laughed at a year from now. It’s not wrong, its just ‘off’. Sure Knight was late on passes and didn’t play consistently. He has 80 starts at PG in his career. He’s a good player and he’ll get it when he slows down and gets more comfortable. 

    • Aug 5, 201311:14 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      So you’re saying Knight needed to be coddled into playing better?  Good grief.   

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