I hate to rain on this 55 point parade but Brandon Jennings hitting uncontested jump shots against the Warriors does not change my opinion of him as a point guard in this league.
How many times have we seen young studs come in and show they could score the ball and how many times have they proven themselves to be me-first ballers that eventually alienate their teammates and fade away to supporting roles.
Brandon is obviously talented and he clearly was feeling it last night as he told Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski after the game, "The shots kept going in, and after a while the rim kept getting bigger and bigger and I just felt like I couldn’t miss."
But it was this quote on NBA TV that caught my eye, "The Warriors, they kept going under the screens in the first half I was hesitating to take shots and in the second half they kept going under the screens and I was like 'ok, don't keep disrespecting me' and I just started knocking down jump shots and we started getting a bigger lead and after that I just started thinking about getting the win."
Absolutely, if the Warriors are going to go under the screens then he needs to take that shot but his response is telling. He doesn't talk about taking what was given. He talks about being disrespected and only after that he starts thinking about the win?
That kind of attitude is perfectly acceptable in a young talented player but not in a point guard who's role is to lead his team on the floor.
In isolation this wouldn't be anything but having seen this kid play in Vegas what stood out even more than his abilities was his "look at me" attitude and while very talented those kind of point guards never end up having great careers in the NBA. Allen Iverson was without a doubt the most successful of this breed and Brandon is no Allen and look where AI is now at age 34 compared to the 35 year old Steve Nash.
So while I don't want to take away from his incredible talent, I am no where near sold on his ability to lead a team from the point. As we've learned here in Phoenix over the years, the key to winning basketball is having a team that over the course of the season that is willing to play unselfish basketball and while some teams can do that without a great point guard no team can do that with a selfish point guard.
You have to think that is a big reason why Mike D'Antoni and Knicks passed on him despite how desperate they were to find a PG. They already have an undersized guy that can score in Nate Robinson. They need a team leader who can bring their players together and orchestrate their movement on the the floor. Jennings is not that guy. At least not yet and while a player can develop their game they rarely change their personalities.
Perhaps Brandon will mature over the next few years and grow into the kind of person needed to run a team but for now he's just another in a long line of flash in the pan point guards that don't have the right instincts for the team aspect of the game.