The former Kentucky Wildcats sensation was second in rookie scoring with 12.8 points, about six behind Cleveland Cavaliers first-year phenom Kyrie Irving. Both players should morph into two of the Association's best under-25 guards if they maintain their pace.
At 6-foot-3, 189 pounds, Knight has the frame and athleticism to become an increasingly effective point guard. In a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, he scored 18 first-half points en route to a then-career-high 26. In April, he helped the Pistons close the door on Irving's Cavaliers with a career-high 28 points. That type of scoring from a point man is promising. Knight scored 20 or more 10 times in the 62-game, strike-shortened season.
But his court vision and passing ability make him a valuable asset, too. After all, a point guard's job is to distribute and move the ball. He had seven or more assists 12 times a year ago. I used the seven-assist mark for this reason: Of course, 10 would be a great game. Five, well, five assists are about average for an NBA point guard. At the very least, five assists are expected. So, choosing seven was a way to gauge how many above-average games Knight had in terms of distribution. It's not a science, obviously, just a way to add context.
Knight shot 38 percent from 3-point range, second-best among rookies behind Irving's 39.9 percent. If not for Irving's spectacular season, Knight would have received stronger consideration for the NBA's Rookie of the Year Award. He certainly presented a strong case as to why he should be crowned the league's top first-year player. However, perhaps enough recognition, he was named to the All-Rookie Team.
The sky seems to be the limit for Knight. I can see him developing into a 16- or 17-point a game scorer in 2012-13, maybe averaging around six assists. That forecast, of course, depends on how well the Pistons offense continues to bond. At times, Detroit looked out-of-sync offensively. Other than Greg Monroe and Knight, some of the Pistons didn't appear to be on the same page. But when Monroe and Knight clicked, they made for spurts of good basketball.
Are 16 or 17 points a game too low? Is Knight capable of being a consistent 20-point scorer? I can definitely see his assist rate going up if Andre Drummond quickly gets on board with the rest of the team. Another big body to dump the ball in to would make for three a night, not to mention the other three or four he'd get from feeding Monroe the ball.
What do you think about Knight's potential?
Adam Biggers has followed the NBA for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Pistons. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
- Sports & Recreation
- Detroit Pistons
- Brandon Knight
- Kyrie Irving