Brandon Knight finishing rookie season the right way
From The Detroit Free Press…
“His foot was on the line!” yelled Pistons point guard Brandon Knight.
Charlie Villanueva had just been called for a charging foul Tuesday night and Knight was pointing toward the paint while shouting that a Cavs’ defender was in the circle beneath the basket, meaning the call was missed.
The fact that Knight is feeling confident enough about his game to assist the officials is indicative of the swagger he has been playing with recently.
After showing promise during a typical up-and-down rookie season, Knight is finishing the season the right way.
Knight finished with a career-high 28 points on 11-for-12 shooting in the Pistons’ 116-77 blasting of the undermanned Cavaliers, who only dressed nine players, at the Palace. He added seven assists.
Sure, it was only the Cavs, who waved the white flag several weeks ago. But in his last six games, Knight is averaging 18.3 points and 5.5 assists.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank has been preaching to his team the importance of finishing this season with some momentum, and it looks like Knight has taken that message to heart.
“I think the game is slowing down for him,” Pistons center Greg Monroe said. “It takes time to get acclimated to the NBA game.”
Knight can be turnover-prone as evidenced by his seven in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Bulls. But his assists are going up, showing that he is good pupil at the position Frank calls the toughest to learn in the game.
“It’s just a result of my coaches allowing me to see certain things that I didn’t see at the beginning of the season as far as when to make certain passes, when they’re on target, on time,” Knight said. “And it comes from guys knocking down shots.
“I think our team has done a great job of knocking down shots over the last couple of games and like I said, it comes from knowing what to look for on certain plays and knowing once you play a team a certain amount of times how they are going to defend it and where it should be open.”
And Knight gave the Cavs the whole arsenal. He concentrated on getting his teammates involved in the first half when he had nine points on 3-for-3 shooting to go with five assists.
But he erupted for 19 points in the third quarter with the last bucket probably the most impressive. With five seconds left in the third period, Monroe rebounded a Cavs miss and took off dribbling up the floor.
He took it coast-to-coast and dropped a perfect bounce pass to Knight, who brought home a two-handed dunk at the buzzer. The officials reviewed it, counted it and Knight had the rest of the night off considering the Pistons’ 100-50 lead.
Monroe joked afterward that his game is being restricted and he could do stuff like that all the time.
“You know I got the ball and dribbled up and at the last second I saw B-Knight cutting, so I hit him with the no-look,” Monroe said.