Detroit Pistons' Brandon Jennings Shows Improvement In Passing Game vs. Boston Celtics

By Nicholas Crimarco
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In 2011, the Detroit Pistons drafted Brandon Knight to be their point guard of the future. However, in his first two seasons in the league, Knight was an average scorer and a below average playmaker on offense. He averaged a career high 13.3 points per game in 2012, but shot only 40.7 percent from the field and averaged only four assists per game.

During this past offseason, Detroit decided to put some scoring next to their young power forward and center combination of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. They spent a lot of money to sign Josh Smith, who has averaged 18 points and nine rebounds per game in the last two years combined. They also went out and put together a sign and trade to get Brandon Jennings from the Milwaukee Bucks and sent them Knight along with two others.

Jennings brings an offensive punch that Knight lacked in his two seasons. Jennings for his career has averaged 17.8 points and 6 assists per game for a Milwaukee team that has never really put the pieces around him for him to succeed. The concern about Jennings is that he takes a lot of forced shots, but he is a willing passer and has proved so in his first year with the Pistons.

Going into the game Wednesday vs. the Boston Celtics, Jennings has been averaging 17 points and 7.8 assists per game. He has had eight double-digit assist games in his first 25 games this season compared with five for Knight in his two years. On Wednesday, he scored 28 points and had 14 assists against the Celtics in a 107-106 road victory for Detroit. This is coming off an 18-point and eight-assist game vs. the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

In the fourth quarter, Jennings had eight points and four assists, including three straight assists to Josh Smith to give Detroit some cushion late in the fourth. After Boston battled back to take a lead with one minute left, Jennings hit the game winning 3-pointer with 46 seconds left that but Detroit ahead 107-105. It was his fifth 3-pointer of the game and second in the fourth quarter.

Detroit has won three of their last four games with the only loss coming by two points to the Portland Trail Blazers, who have the best record in the league. With the Eastern Conference going through a down year, Detroit could creep into the top four and make a difficult matchup for either Indiana or the Miami Heat in the second round.

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