Knicks PG Brandon Jennings had 19 points, four assists, and three rebounds during Sunday night's win over the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Jenning, 27, has scored at least 13 points in four of his last five game, notching nine assists in the lone game during that span where he didn't reach the 13-point mark.
He's averaging 8.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 2.8 rebounds in 24 games this season.
I wrote this past August about Jennings being the Knicks' X-Factor. Moving forward, I expect Jennings to continue to fit the role that Phil Jackson envisioned for him.
I also expect Jennings to continue to take advantage of the freedom that head coach Jeff Hornacek has given him within the context of what they want to do offensively. There will be opportunities to start and play big minutes if Derrick Rose sits out due to injury or if the Knicks decide to rest him -- allowing for Jennings to slide into the starting lineup and contribute 30 plus minutes.
I also expect him to shoot the ball better, especially in the mid-range area. You saw what he brings to the Knicks' offense when made key shots Sunday night in Los Angeles, but he's struggled this year from the field off the dribble and I anticipate those numbers to increase, even if just slightly.
Per NBA Stats, Jennings is shooting just 28.7 percent from the field off of pull ups, which he shoots 51 percent of the time. In addition, he's shooting just 37 percent when he's taken more than three dribbles, which is on the low side considering he's a rhythm shooter who generally has the ball in his hands to start the offensive set.
Conversely, Jennings has been solid off the ball, often playing alongside Rose. He's shooting 48.6 percent with an eFG% of 62.9 when he shoots without taking a dribble. These shots come off dribble penetration that Jennings is so adept at. Knocking down those shots, especially from three -- where he's shooting 40 percent this year off the catch -- has been a key element to the Knicks rotation.
Jennings is an energy player and that has picked the Knicks up on nights where they are flat. Despite being 0-5 on the second half of back-to-backs, Jennings has arguably played his best in those situations, particularly when shooting the basketball. While he's not the type of player to win games for them by himself, he can get other guys around him open shots, which leads to more made field goals -- allowing for the Knicks to set their defense.
Coming off zero days rest, Jennings has a 55.3 eFG% and a True Shooting percentage of 59.3. In those games, he's averaging 12.6 points and 5.2 assists on 48.9 percent from the floor and 40 percent from deep.
Bottom line is I'd expect Jennings to keep bringing the energy. He's been very vocal about his desires and goals since signing here. He's certainly held up his end of the bargain in becoming a fan favorite, especially at the Garden, and he's played really well on the road while helping to bolster the Knicks bench.