Lost in the mix of James Harden’s monstrous triple-double against the Knicks on Saturday was Brandon Jennings’ sharp game. With a rash of injuries and uninspired play Brandon was pressed into a starting role despite his awful game in New Orleans. Jennings continues to be a bellwether for the team as a whole. When nobody can connect, Jennings will flub breakaway layups and fart wide open catch-and-shoot jumpers. When the team is playing with focus and energy, Jennings zips in and out cashing whatever he can forage for.
Against the Pelicans, Jennings was mercifully pulled and he skulked to the bench in the waning moments. Walt Frazier and Mike Breen proved to be excellent forecasters as well as broadcasters, noting that Jennings doesn’t take losses sitting down. Jennings did indeed make up- and then some- for his bad game with some high-powered offense. His hands got a little sticky once they heated up, as I noticed him missing a few wide open teammates, but it was hard to deny his electrifying game.
Jennings’s fabulous 132.2 Offensive rating helped keep the Knicks in the game. He tossed in 32 points to go along with 7 assists. It was his troubling 126.9 Defensive rating that was symptomatic of the team’s inability to get stops anywhere on the floor. He certainly wasn’t the only one, and granted Harden went completely bonkers, but the Knicks’ defensive effort just doesn’t stay connected enough to help and recover for guys who make mistakes or get overwhelmed by their matchups. Most of the time when you score 122, your team will win. They just ran into the wrong tunnel-boring machine.
Whatever kind of lemons you have, Brandon Jennings has a penchant for making the most amount of lemonade he possibly can. You might just wanna make sure the lemons aren’t turning.