In the Phoenix Suns’ rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, Brandon Knight was a dominant force, and did something that’s only been pulled off by three other people since 1973: He had a triple-double with 30 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds and four steals (and one killer crossover). He was everywhere:
Only Pete Maravich, Magic Johnson and Russell Westbrook have gotten a triple-double with that many points, assists and steals. And only Russ has done it steals were tracked on a game-by-game basis, starting in 1985-86. Look at the two lonely box scores, and you come to realize that Knight had an even better game than Russ did, with only two turnovers to Westbrook’s nine, and a higher field goal percentage to boot.
The Suns sit at 6-4, in fourth place in the Western Conference, and Knight has started off hot. His effective field goal percentage is a career best if he can keep up the pace, as he’s shooting more from the outside without any decrease in efficiency. Knight was brought in to help the Suns recover from the meltdown of the Goran Dragic/Eric Bledsoe/Isaiah Thomas backcourt, and while he didn’t play well for Phoenix down the stretch last year, he looks like he’s settled in as the outside shooting counterpart to Bledsoe’s slasher style.
With supposed playoff teams like the Houston Rockets and especially the New Orleans Pelicans starting the season poorly, a revamped Suns team (don’t forget their new winning ingredient, Tyson Chandler) is poised to break into the Western Conference playoff picture in a big way, and finally fulfill the promise of their surprise 2013-14 season. Brandon Knight won’t make history every night, but if he can stay efficient from the outside, the Suns will be tough to move out of the top eight out West.