Quick Reactions to Brandon Jennings’ Double-Nickel
by Andrew Kennedy
I stopped watching the Warriors-Bucks game Saturday night midway through the third quarter because I was getting ready to go out (yes, this means I did begin watching this game at some point, something not many people can say they did).
At that point Brandon Jennings had 17 points and it didn’t appear that anything as spectacular as what eventually became was going to happen.
Last night I went into the NBA League Pass archives (greatest thing ever) and watched the second half of the game.
Jennings would end up with a Bucks rookie record (previously 51 by Kareem) of 55 points as the Bucks beat Golden State 129-125. He had 29 points in the third quarter alone, made 7-of-8 3-point attempts including a big one in the final minute and became the youngest player to ever score 50 points in a game (LeBron was the previous).
He was just three points shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s rookie record of 58 in 1960 and two shy of Michael Redd’s franchise record.
Who saw this coming from the kid (I can call him this because I’m older than him) that bypassed college for pro ball in Europe where he didn’t get a lot of playing time and got picked tenth and stuck on one of the worst teams in the NBA?
I sure didn’t but I will say that it didn’t take me long to realize that Jennings was for real. I’m just trying to figure out exactly how good he is and who he can be compared to.
He began his career with a 17-9-9 game in a loss to Philadelphia which quickly gained my attention especially since Blake Griffin had gotten injured, leaving the door wide open for Rookie of the Year, I don’t think Tyreke Evans will win it so I was looking for someone else.
Jennings has definitely become the frontrunner as he has now led the Bucks to a 5-2 record that includes wins over Detroit and Denver.
As impressive as the performance Jennings put on against Golden State (because who hasn’t scored 50 in a game against the Warriors?), maybe the most impressive game of his young career came in a 108-102 win against the Nuggets.
Being covered by Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson for the entire game, Jennings filled up the box score again pouring in 32 points, nine assists and four rebounds.
He even did his best Billups impersonation in the final minutes to hold the lead knocking down free throws as he made all eight of his attempts in the game.
The lightning quick lefty made one of the best, physical point guard defenders this league has seen in the past 10 years look like he had no chance at containing this rookie phenom.
Jennings has now gone from a rookie who is having a hot start and the league not being ready for him to a bonafide star that might end up starting at point guard in the All-Star game for the East this season.
Right now he looks like Nick Van Exel or Kenny Anderson but better. I’d like to think this was what Nate Archibald looked like back in the day but I’ve never actually seen anything but highlights of Tiny.
Whatever he is or whoever he’s like, Jennings is unique to this league right now in his quickness combined with court vision, ability to make and create his own shots, and finish in the lane and open court.
He is Derrick Rose with a jumper, as quick as Paul but with 3-point range (I know Paul is shooting great from deep this year but I still hate him and am glad he’s hurt) and better at scoring, faster than Deron Williams and as good of a passer, but still not even close to Steve Nash (no one ever will be so everyone stop trying).
And the most impressive thing about Jennings’ play is that the four other starters on this 5-2 team look like this: Carlos Delfino, Charlie Bell, Hakim Warrick and Andrew Bogut.
Yeah, the kid’s not getting much help and doing this by himself.