Normally if Brandon Knight finished a game without recording a single assist a knee-jerk article would discuss whether or not we're truly looking at the future point guard of the Detroit Pistons. Well, in Sunday night's 104-102 victory over the Orlando Magic Brandon Knight played 37 minutes without recording a single assist (tying a career-low for assists). Knight also turned in a 31-point, career-high scoring night. It's safe to assume that the second-year point guard will receive a free pass from the "assist" critics.
After J.J. Redick knocked down five three-pointers in the first quarter (Redick had 31 points on the night including eight three pointers), it was clear that the three-ball was going to play a dominating part in the game's outcome. Truly a punch-for-punch game, the Pistons answered Redick's call for the three-ball with an 11-23, 47.8 percent three-point performance of their own on the night. Brandon Knight went 5-8 from behind the three-point arch, including three deep-balls in a fourth quarter that saw the lead change hands 10 times.
Perhaps the most impressive minutes from Knight's 31-point scoring outing came while playing alongside Will Bynum. With Rodney Stuckey in street clothes due to a "coaches decision," Lawrence Frank brought Kim English off the bench for the reserve shooting guard duties. As Kyle Singler only played 19 minutes and with Will Bynum having one of his best point guard performances with 12 assists, Frank needed Knight's hot hand to get comfortable at the off-guard spot in crunch time.
Playing next to Bynum in the fourth quarter, Knight played the shooting guard spot perfectly. Working hard to get open as Bynum drove the lane, Brandon Knight had nine points in the fourth quarter. All nine points came on three point shots, and all three deep balls were off of Will Bynum assists. Knight even played defense like an off-guard, taking a charge against a bruising Glen Davis in a pivotal change of possession moment while the game was tied at 98. Knight took the charge and then took charge of the game, getting open for his third three pointer of the fourth quarter while giving the Pistons control of the final lead change of the game.
The Pistons don't take the court again until Tuesday night when the team will welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the Palace. The Pistons are still in contention for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and with Boston losing Rajon Rondo for the season due to injury, the postseason odds got a lot better for the Pistons.
Tags: Basketball, Brandon Knight, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, J.J. Redick, NBA