Brandon Knight, the second-year player for the Detroit Pistons, sprained his ankle Monday night against the Utah Jazz, an injury that could cause him to miss a significant amount of games for the first time in his NBA career.
Knight had been hoping for a bounce-back performance after DeAndre Jordan's monster dunk Sunday night made him an international punchline, but he got hurt less than five minutes into the game Monday night. He stepped on Randy Foye's foot on a fast break, and couldn't put any weight on his left ankle after the injury. It's unclear how long he'll be out for.
The shooting guard has played in all but two games for the Pistons, and he's second on the team with 13.8 points and 4.1 assists. Knight hasn't been elite since being selected eighth overall by Detroit in the 2011 NBA Draft, but he's been solid. The Kentucky star averaged 12.8 points as a rookie and his numbers increased slightly in his second season, with his shooting averages dropping infinitesimally while getting to the free throw line more often, grabbing slightly more boards and dishing out slightly more assists. He's a key cog on the Pistons and despite all the jokes at his expense, he has the talent to develop into a solid swingman.
The Pistons have lost six in a row, and now they have lost Knight. The good news is that they have a few players capable of filling in: Rodney Stuckey played 35 minutes, his biggest outing in months, and had 15 points. And the team appears to have really found something in small forward Khris Middleton, a second-rounder who has played sparingly this year, but has come on strong with the two first double-digit scoring outings of his career in the past three games, including a 4-of-5 shooting night on Monday.