Wednesday, November 14, 7:00 PM at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
TV: Comcast SportsNet Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
NOTE: Comcast SportsNet HD is now on XFinity® Channel 847
by Max Rappaport
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
G Brandon Knight vs. G Jrue Holiday
Last season, Brandon Knight played more minutes than any other rookie, finishing with impressive averages of 12.8 points (41.5 FG%), 3.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game and finishing eighth in rookie of the year voting. Many expected the 6-3 point guard to be in the running for the Most Improved Player award this season, but early on, the Kentucky alum has struggled. Shooting just 35.7% from the floor, Knight's scoring average has dropped to 11.0 per game this season. His assists, though, have increased, as he's taken the lion's share of the ball handling duties for Detroit.
Over the last two weeks, Jrue Holiday has turned heads. After posting career averages of 11.9 points (44.0 FG%, 37.7 3P%) and 5.0 assists per game, he's begun the 2012-13 season averaging 19.1 points (46.7 FG%, 44.0 3P%) and 9.0 assists a night. At just 22 years of age, Holiday still has room to grow as a player. An impressive defensive player, too, his inspired play has played a major role in the team's success through the first seven games of this season.
In three meetings between Knight and Holiday last season, Knight's output and efficiency was negatiely affected by Holiday's presence on the floor. Knight averaged 14.3 points (42.0 FG%) and 4.2 assists per 36 minutes in 66 games last season. In 89 minutes of floor time during which he was matched up against Holiday last season, he averaged just 8.9 points (26.0 FG%) and 2.8 assists, losing all three contests to Holiday and the Sixers.
Knight made just seven of 25 shots attempted inside the three-point line in those games, with all but one of those made baskets coming right at the basket. Holiday held Knight to zero of eight on attempts from midrange, an area in which the second-year guard has struggled to score as a pro; last season, he shot just 31.0% from midrange. The Sixers' starting point guard should look to force Knight to take shots from midrange, where he is less efficient than anywhere else on the court. If he is able to keep Knight out of the paint Wednesday night, he will have negated one of the Pistons' more talented offensive weapons.