Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Motown Merry-Go-Down: Bucks Face Lackluster Pistons

Former Pistons teammates Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton have flourished in their starting roles for the Milwaukee Bucks

The Past

The Milwaukee Bucks have dominated the Detroit Pistons in the only category that should matter in a rebuilding scenario such as this season: decision making. This dates back to when the two teams saw their off-season pursuit of the eight seed connect in a trade that seemed fair (sorta) at the time. The Pistons chose to part ways with the undeveloped talent that was their former lottery pick guard Brandon Knight along with an undiscovered talented small forward by the name of Khris Middleton. The Bucks basically let Brandon Jennings walk (and swim) from Milwaukee  to Detroit where he signed a long term deal. Of course these two transactions were connected in a sign and trade that Bucks fans are happy to reflect upon.

The verdict of who won the deal can be judged in two ways, both favoring the Bucks. Their on court production speaks for itself with Brandon Knight averaging 17.5 ppg on 42.0% shooting and Khris Middleton averaging 11.8 ppg on 44.1% shooting. Brandon Jennings on the other hand has average 15.7 ppg on 37.6%. I won’t even add an adjective in front of Jennings’ shooting percentage. It speaks for itself; that’s A LOT of bricks being hoisted. The next category to weigh the trade on is potential. Although too much emphasis does sometimes get placed on the idea of “whose ceiling is higher”, it’s an important idea to consider when talking about a rebuilding job. Brandon Jennings at the age of 24 with many seasons under his belt is what he is at this point. Knight and Middleton are both only 22 and are playing just their first season in the NBA with a consistent role. Their numbers continuing to rise may or may not happen, but these are the type of deals a small market team needs to take a chance on.

The Game

The Pistons continued doing the Bucks favors Saturday night when they lost to the Bucks’ main competition for the worst record in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers. The Pistons’ loss brought the Bucks back to two games ahead of the Sixers in the race for lottery balls and displayed just how little they care about the rest of the year. Their lack of effort was obvious throughout and the Bucks are likely to see a similar performance from the Pistons Monday night in Detroit. The Pistons went all in this off-season in an effort to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, signing Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings to long term deals. The Eastern Conference did all they good to let them sneak in but the players could not figure out how to play together well enough to have a respectable record. It now appears that the team is more concerned with how far they can move up in the draft lottery and the Bucks should have a very good chance to take this one if they can muster up a solid effort.

Milwaukee Bucks (14-59) @ Detroit Pistons (26-47), Time: 6:30 CST, TV: FSN-WI, Radio: AM 620 WTMJ

Projected Starting Line Ups

Pistons

C – Andre Drummond

PF – Greg Monroe

SF – Josh Smith

SG – Kyle Singler

PG – Brandon Jennings

Bucks

C – Zaza Pachulia

PF – Jeff Adrien

SF – Khris Middleton

SG – Ramon Sessions

PG – Brandon Knight

 

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Tags: Brandon Knight Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks

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