When the New York Knicks acquired Brandon Jennings, he was historically a volume shooter. With his new team, he’s accepted a different role.
It didn’t seem to make much sense for Brandon Jennings when he signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the New York Knicks. Even weirder he requested the short-term deal. Other point guards were cashing in during that crazy summer, so why not Jennings?
Well unlike most NBA players the team mattered to him more than the money. Jennings wanted to be in New York.
Brandon Jennings wanted to be a Knick in 2009 when the franchise drafted Jordan Hill two spots ahead of him. Ouch. He’s already comparing himself and Joakim Noah to Anthony Mason and John Starks.
“I see us as the old Knicks. I’m gonna be the one starting stuff on the court. Joakim is also. We’re gonna be like Anthony Mason and John Starks. We’re gonna be the ones who are always starting crap.”
His desire to play at Madison Square Garden must be why he’s been a more willing passer now than in the past. It’s a change that most NBA watchers thought he’d never make.
Jennings spoke to ESPN New York’s Ian Begley about how his role has changed.
“I don’t have to score a lot so I can just set the table. It doesn’t mean I can’t score but I have to sacrifice my game for the team. I’m playing with some of the best scorers in the world so for me, I definitely have to change my game and I found other things that I think I can bring to the table for the team… At first it was a challenge but I’ve accepted it now, I know my role. Play defense, come in with a lot of energy, push the floor, set guys up and play hard.”
Jennings leads the team in assists (5.2) and assist percentage (33.6) by a mile, and he’s sixth in the league with a phenomenal 3.86 assist to turnover ratio.
Two of the biggest worries about Jennings were his FGAs and his notoriously high usage. Well, he’s at career-lows in both stats. The point guard is attempting just 6.1 shots per game and has a usage percentage of 16.6%.
If you were worried about Jennings making a lot of stupid decisions, you could stop.