Brandon Jennings had a night to remember that you can drown your sorrows in booze. Thankfully he was in New Orleans, where most tourists assume getting completely hammered at the local roost is par for the course. Jennings hasn’t been the best Knick guard by any stretch of the imagination. He does, however, bring some flair and bravado to a somewhat stoic, mild mannered team. Sometimes it spurs them into action and sometimes it exacerbates an already dreadful affair.
Against the Pelicans Jennings shot 2-8, had a -38.3 efficiency rating (70.3 ORtg, 108.5 DRtg), got totally mixed up on defense, and dribbled the ball clean out of bounds under very little pressure. Shook his head 8.4 times per touch, threw up his hands 2.9 times per minute and slunk to the end of the bench three times. It’s not all his fault. Nor should the success or failure of the team lean on him.
Jennings does what he can, though. He leads the Knicks in deflections per game, contributing two a night, which drops him square in between some of the more paws-y bench guys around the league like Andre Iguodala (2.3) and Iman Shumpert (1.7). He has also been the team’s most consistent distributor getting 5.3 assists per contest. For a team that doesn’t always keep the ball whipping from side to side, that can be a huge asset. He is, of course, prone to wild swings of capability. His play can go from terrific to atrocious in no time flat. It sometimes happens over the course of a couple minutes and sometimes takes a stretch of games.
Last night, Mike Breen and Walt Frazier noticed that Jennings handled losing worse than anyone else on the team, and that’s ultimately a good sign, implying he would likely be very focused in his next game. Hopefully he can turn it right around tonight against a Houston Rockets team that plays fast and loose.
As for last night, my goodness, Brandon was just so downright pitiful. Sometimes in life, when Murphy’s law is in concert, I find that it’s easiest to just lean into the shame and humiliation of it all. So here’s to you, Brandon. We’ll get ‘em next time.