Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brevin Knight had a really good 4th quarter

It's "only" the preseason, and it was probably against bench guys, but Brevin Knight had 2 points, 7 assists and 4 steals in the 4th quarter. It was so good that the SL Trib even got off of their "214 best Jazz players ever" article kick to write about it.

If you followed the game (I did not), or read the play-by-play than you can clearly see Knight developing some consistency and experience working with several of our key bench guys (Korver, Millsap and Kirilenko). I think that's pretty necessary as he has to pick all of the nuances of running our offense with our guys as soon as possible.

Furthermore, I think he's doing a pretty good job if this game (his first real game without injury) is any indication.

Knight owned the blazers

The following is from the play-by-play of the 4th quarter that's up on ESPN's website:

Photograph by Melissa Majchrzak for NBAE/Getty Images
  • [11:06] Kyle Korver makes jumper (Brevin Knight assists) -- Portland 78 - Utah 75
  • [9:06] Brevin Knight defensive rebound -- Portland 79 - Utah 78
  • [8:57] Kyle Korver makes 23-foot three point jumper (Brevin Knight assists) -- Portland 79 - Utah 81
  • [8:27] Brevin Knight misses layup -- Portland 79 - Utah 81
  • [7:50] Kyle Korver makes 23-foot three point jumper (Brevin Knight assists) -- Portland 79 - Utah 84
  • [6:58] Andrei Kirilenko makes two point shot (Brevin Knight assists) -- Portland 81 - Utah 87
  • [4:18] Kosta Koufos makes 18-foot jumper (Brevin Knight assists) -- Portland 87 - Utah 92
  • [3:55] Jerryd Bayless lost ball (Brevin Knight steals) -- Portland 87 - Utah 92
  • [3:28] Shavlik Randolph lost ball (Brevin Knight steals) -- Portland 87 - Utah 94
  • [3:06] Paul Millsap makes 18-foot jumper (Brevin Knight assists) -- Portland 87 - Utah 96
  • [2:35] Kosta Koufos makes slam dunk (Brevin Knight assists) -- Portland 87 - Utah 98
  • [1:39] Jerryd Bayless lost ball (Brevin Knight steals) -- Portland 89 - Utah 98
  • [1:08] Rudy Fernandez bad pass (Brevin Knight steals) -- Portland 89 - Utah 98
  • [0:35] Brevin Knight makes 9-foot running jumper -- Portland 89 - Utah 100

If this game happened in the regular season, and on the road, then the Mayor of Portland would have almost be forced to give Brevin Knight the key to the city . . . but there really would have been no need as Knight would have probably swiped it already. I think I like Knight playing with this group better as he's a pure point guard in that pass first mold. When you have Korver on the floor it's probably best to have a pass first guard anyway. Also a pass first guard is able to lead marginal offensive talents to the right spots where they can score. I don't really conceptualize Price being able to help get Kosta Koufos dunks, but I could be wrong about that.

I also appreciate how Knight isn't against throwing the lob pass to AK going for alley-oops. This is something that Andrei used to get a lot of back when he was playing 37 mpg and an All-Star. It really started with Mark Jackson passing the rock to AK when AK first began to score big points in some games. (And there once was a time where he used to be getting 20 like nothing) In past seasons AK hasn't been getting the rock from his PGs, and he's being passed over for receiving alley-oops in favor of Deron throwing it to Brewer instead. Astute Jazz fans may remember that the Jackson to Kirilenko oop was very successful and caught a lot of team off guard. The Knight to Kirilenko oop seems to be doing that -- all the while making Andrei feel more involved in the offense.

Knight is a stabilizing force for the 2nd unit, much like I theorized. This is very true on offense, but even more so on defense. You don't usually luck into 4 steals to close out a game . . . I'm sure part of it would have to deal with his pressure defense against younger players. If we're going to hold off the young Portland Trailblazers it would serve us well to have a cagey vet who can strip them of their pride as often as he strips them of the ball.