Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
There haven't been many spotlights shining on the 7-18 Detroit Pistons this season, but one player who does deserve his name on the marquee is a former first-rounder who has made definite strides in his sophomore season.
Pistons point guard Brandon Knight had an inconsistent rookie season, averaging 12.8 points, 3.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds while turning the ball over 2.6 times per game and shooting 41.5 percent.
Knight didn't look like he'd be cracking many fantasy lineups in the first 12 games this season when he averaged 10.6 ppg on 37 percent shooting with 3.2 turnovers per game, but he's been a different player in the past 13 contests with averages of 19.1 points on 46.9 percent shooting, 3.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 3-pointers per game.
Knight had his best week yet from Dec. 8-14, scoring 20 or more points in all four games with a high of 30. He made 14 of his 23 3-point attempts and averaged 4.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists with 1.3 steals per game.
Let's see who else has been influencing the NBA in this week's edition of the Good, the Bad, the Ugly.
- Houston Rockets guard James Harden rates as the No. 1 overall player in Yahoo! leagues over the last seven days despite missing a game due to an ankle sprain. That injury did as good of a job as opposing defenders at slowing down Harden in his other three games. Harden averaged 30.3 points on 48.1 percent shooting with five rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.7 3-pointers per game. Harden has managed to score 24.8 ppg while hitting just 34.1 percent from 3-point range. If he starts hitting them like he did in the past week, watch out.
- The trio of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili may drive the San Antonio Spurs in real life but Danny Green has replaced Ginobili in fantasyland. Parker averaged 23 points, 4.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists, Duncan averaged 14.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks and Green hit 12 3-pointers and averaged 13.5 points and 2.0 steals to rank as the No. 2, 6 and 11 overall players, respectively, in the past seven days.
- Golden State Warriors forward-center David Lee has been on a double-double tear, accomplishing the feat in six straight games. He averaged 23.8 points and 14 rebounds and shot 55.9 percent from the floor in the past week.
- The Indiana Pacers struggled initially to replace Danny Granger's scoring but it looks like Paul George has everything covered now. George averaged 24 ppg in three games over the past seven days and has scored 22 or more points in five of the last six games. He also contributed his usual 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks the past week.
- Cleveland Cavaliers guard C.J. Miles also stepped in for a fallen teammate and left us wondering why he's been buried on the bench all season. With Dion Waiters on the shelf, Cleveland turned to Miles to fill the void at starting shooting guard. All Miles did was score 28 points in each of his first two starts and 17 in the third, drilling 14 3-pointers in the process. That's just one less than he had all season prior to his three-game starting stint.
- Kobe Bryant has scored 30 or more points in seven of the last eight games. Fortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers finally won one of them. After going 1-11 the first 12 times this season Bryant scored 30 or more points, Los Angeles beat Washington Friday night. Bryant averaged 34.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.3 3-pointers and 1.3 steals in the last seven days.
- Denver Nuggets guard-forward Andre Iguodala salvaged an otherwise rotten week with 20 points, seven assists, four rebounds and five steals Friday night, but that doesn't completely erase what he did in the three previous games. Iguodala only shot 9-of-33 (.273) with 13 turnovers in those three contests.
- There's nothing wrong with New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony's production, it's better than ever. The problem is that Anthony has had to make one too many visits to the trainer's table as of late. First there was the lacerated finger that cost him two games, and now a sprained left ankle that prevented him from piling more points on the Lakers Thursday night and could cause him to miss Saturday's game.
- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams, Anthony's rival for biggest star in New York, is perfectly healthy; it's his shot that's hurting. Williams failed to make better than 42.1 percent of his shots or score more than 18 points in any game over the past seven days. He shot 38.2 percent from the field and turned the ball over an average of three times per game in four games during that stretch.
- Speaking of turnovers, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley had plenty this past week (15) and he compounded it by only dishing out 13 assists. That's not the ratio we're used to seeing from Conley.
- Look, Raymond Felton, we appreciate the 16 ppg in the past four games but did you really have to take 83 shots to make that happen? And we could do without the seven turnovers on Dec. 11 at Brooklyn.
- Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins' bad temper struck again Monday when he struck Dallas' O.J. Mayo in the groin area. The impressionable youngster may have watched Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions get away with a shot to Texans QB Matt Schaub's groin on Thanksgiving and thought that he'd give it a try. That didn't work out so well, nor did his 3-of-12 shooting effort in his return to the lineup Friday.
- What was a severely blemished Washington Wizards' point guard situation turned full-on hideous when A.J. Price broke his hand, leaving the keys to the offense in the hands of Jordan Crawford, who (in his mind) is always open. John Wall can't get back soon enough.