One offseason ago, the Bucks went through a whirlwind of prospective point guards before settling on Brandon Knight. An offer for Atlanta’s Jeff Teague meant the Brandon Jennings days were all but over, and a matched offer sheet by the Hawks meant Jennings would be dealt.
First, let’s do a blind resume test.
PG 1 – 15.5 pts, 7.6 ast, 1.3 stl, 2.7 to, 44.1 eFG%, 15.6 PER, 23.4 USG
PG 2 – 17.9 pts, 4.9 ast, 1.0 stl, 2.6 to, 47.3 eFG%, 16.5 PER, 26.8 USG
PG 3 – 16.5 pts, 6.7 ast, 1.1 stl, 2.9 to, 47.4 eFG%, 17.1 PER, 25.7 USG
Take your pick. Who do you want? They’re all pretty close.
What if I told you PG 1 (Jennings) hadn’t show much improvement over his career and his numbers, on the whole, regressed this season? And what if I told you PG 2 (Knight) was three years younger than PG 3 (Teague)? You very well may pick Knight.
Knight made significant strides in his third NBA season. He decreased his turnover rate and improved his passing, much to the delight of those who have pointed out these weaknesses in his game. Although his three-point shooting plummeted to a career-low 32.5 percent, he scored at a career-best rate near the basket, something Jennings haters are relieved to see.
Knight was an absolute gamer for a Bucks team lacking identity on both ends of the court. Easily Milwaukee’s most consistent performer, Knight shouldered the brunt of the offensive burden for most of the season. He also provided a few spectacular highlights. Dunks against the Magic and Raptors and big blocks on Birdman and Jodie Meeks were very… un-Bucks-like.
For Knight to solidify himself as a starting guard in the league, he’ll have to continue to raise his assist percentage, while bringing his usage rate down to normal levels. He’ll have to become a guy who can spread the floor and facilitate for Giannis Antetokounmpo and a top pick in the 2014 draft.