Detroit Pistons teammates Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight receive their final grades
MLive.com’s final season grades…
Brandon Knight, B-minus
Take the rookie factor more into account and this grade could have been a little better. He had some tough run-ins with elite point guards, which surprised no one. He also frequently fared better in rematches than first matches, which pleased plenty. He led all NBA rookies in minutes played and was available every game, something none of his backcourt mates can say. Can shoot, penetrate and think the game. Distribution and ball protection have to improve in the long term.
In my book, Brandon Knight deserves to have a much higher grade than he was given. With 847 points on the season, Knight finished with the second most points in a season by a Pistons’ rookie since 1985-1986 (and in only 66 games). Knight’s final scoring average of 12.8 ppg was the second highest scoring average by a rookie in Pistons history, trailing only Grant Hill (19.9). Knight also set the Pistons rookie three-point record by connecting on 105 three-pointers, which was also second in the NBA amongst rookies. The Pistons were lucky to have him on their team.
NBA Cats Final Grade: A-
Tayshaun Prince, C-minus
What he provides in basketball IQ, which is palpable, he mitigated with career-worst 42.2-percent shooting and a 12.7-point scoring average which was his lowest since the 2004 championship season, when his offensive punch wasn’t as important. This team did need his scoring, particularly early in the seasons, and Prince didn’t exactly yank it out of the doldrums. He demonstrated again that he isn’t scared to take late, key shots. The general public’s confidence in those shots isn’t what it used to be.
Being that I follow Twitter hardcore, and occasionally tweet for the @BKnightNBA twitter handle, I feel like I have a good idea of how Pistons fans view Tayshaun Prince, and unfortunately, most don’t love the guy. Despite playing in 724 career games, all with the Pistons, and ranking 9th on the Pistons all-time scoring list (not to mention that he helped the Pistons win an NBA championship) many Pistons fans would prefer he wasn’t on the team. It’s sad, but in today’s what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, that’s just how it goes.
Prince didn’t have his best season, but he can still fill up the stat sheet and he’s one of the best defending small-forwards in the NBA.
NBA Cats Final Grade: B