Posts Tagged ‘Danny Granger’

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Danny Granger made his first appearance of the year in the Pacers’ third meeting against the Pistons this season.  After shooting 1 of 10 from the field against their sub-par defense, as we expected,  he still has quite some time to fully get back into the swing of things. But I can say that I was pleased with some of the shots he took.  With time he will get back to playing like the Danny we’re all accustomed to seeing.

In his home debut against the Warriors the only thing that I was thinking about was the future of the team. After Paul George came down and knocked down a three right in the face of a defender and the production team cut to a view of the crowd all I saw was over joyous Pacer fans in #24 jersey’s.

The Warriors called a timeout and the look of confidence on Paul George’s face added fuel to the already ecstatic crowd. The more I look at Granger’s body language it’s clear that he knows his time in Indy is coming to an end and he’s not too happy about it. Once he gets more acclimated with the team things will be fine for the remainder of the year but i don’t see a scenario where he gets resigned. Maybe he’ll take less money but at this point who knows.

Many people are speculating when Granger will be put back into the starting unit. If it was up to me I would have a serious conversation with Danny and ask him about being a sixth man. The starting unit has built up a lot of chemistry together and so far it’s won them a lot of games. Offensively they struggle but the main issue is their bench production. I don’t think putting Lance Stephenson back on the bench to lead the second unit is the answer to your problems.

Paul George is blossoming into a star and splitting shots with Granger could slow down that development process. If Granger is coming off the bench with the second unit he will have more than half of the scoring duties with that scorer-less unit. Coming off the bench could be beneficial in many different areas for the Pacers. But that’s just my opinion on that. Coach Vogel has made it clear that at some point Granger will be back as a starter, just depends on the timing.

To throw a visual out there look at the lineup with Danny as a starter and you judge if having him come off the bench would be a bad thing.

Starters:

PG: George Hill SG: Paul George SF: Danny Granger PF: David West C: Roy Hibbert

2nd Unit:

PG: DJ Augustine SG: Lance Stephenson (With occasional minutes from Orlando Johnson) SF: Gerald Green/Sam Young??? PF: Tyler Hansbrough C: Ian Mahinmi

Or would you rather have Danny come in and score at will with that second unit that has deficiencies at the small forward position and a need for more bench scoring. If you look at championship teams in the past a lot of them had excellent bench production. The best example of that is the 2011 Dallas Mavericks. Even without Caron Butler in the starting lineup they still had enough bench production to defeat the Miami Heat in a tough series.

Sure you could leave Granger or Paul George in with the bench but having Granger with the second unit will allow both of them to have equal time to rest. Plus with Granger coming off a knee injury no one knows if he can defend elite players as well as he could before.

It’s clear that coach Vogel doesn’t have a lot of faith in Gerald Green seeing that he lost his minutes to Orlando Johnson and didn’t play for a stretch of nine games. Sam young is a tough defender who Vogel has no problem throwing on the opposing teams’ best player but offensively he’s a liability.

DJ Augustine has definently had his scoring woes all season and has yet to really prove that signing him was a good idea. There’s no one on that second unit that just pops out as a guy who can get the job done as the starters rest.

When it all comes down to it there’s no doubt in my mind that the Pacers will be fine. No matter where he is on the depth chart he’ll do more good than bad. I just see a sixth man role as being more beneficial to the team.

Having one of your best players come off the bench has worked for teams in years past like the San Antonio Spurs with Manu Ginobili and the Los Angeles Lakers back when Lamar Odom was playing at a high level.  It’s worked more recently with the Oklahoma City Thunder in last years championship run when they had James Harden. I can see this working for the Pacers if they were to do this.

If the Pacers’ front office knows that they have no intention on resigning Granger to a contract extension they should do what’s best for the team now.  If they had success with a Granger-less roster for 55 games  i see no problem with him coming in off the bench and giving a huge boost to that second unit. It may hurt his pride and take a shot to his ego but if he loves his teammates and the city of Indianapolis he should be willing to do whatever the organization thinks is best.

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  Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several months you know that Paul George has become the new go-to-guy for the Indiana Pacers. All of his stats are up and he also has more double-double’s this season than what he had in his first two years combined. So far he’s made his first all-star team and is the front runner to win the Most Improved Player of the Year Award. But all of this might not have happened if Danny Granger wasn’t out with knee tendinitis.

The front office and the people of Indianapolis have gravitated towards Paul George so what does this mean for Granger’s future with this organization? If you’ve ever typed in his name on twitter or even gone to a Pacer game you will know that the fans are not too fond of him. They feel that he hasn’t worked on his game enough to reach his full potential.. After his all-star season where he scored 25 ppg, the people expected him to continue to blossom into this scoring machine. But what they don’t know is that he only scored at that rate because of their former head coach’s (Jim O’Brien) system. His shot attempts were way higher in that system than what they are with coach Vogel.

With pieces falling into place for Indy who is expendable? Will they resign David West or make a move for the best available option? DJ Augustine has been a bust of a pick up for them and at one point he lost the back up point guard position to rookie Ben Hansbrough. DJ was suppose to provide energy and scoring off the bench but just hasn’t produced like they would hope.

I can see the Pacers making a package deal with Granger, DJ, and maybe West (Depending on if they want to give him a contract extension). But who could we get in return? Could they make a move for Indiana native Zach Randolph? Memphis has been cleaning house to avoid penalties from the luxury tax next season. After acquiring Ed Davis, a young big man with a promising future, they could decide to eventually move Randolph.

Some other people who have been in trade talks are J.J. Redick and Aaron Afflalo, Avery Bradley, Monta Ellis, Nick Young, Thaddeus Young, Andre Iguodala, Marcus Thornton and Vince Carter. When the Pacers get rid of Granger they will most likely move the 6’10 Paul George from shooting guard to small forward. Lance Stephenson is a capable guard but he’s no starter. They will nedd help at the shooting guard position.

J.J. Redick is a great shooter and hustles on defense but other players that I’ve named would make more sense. Monta Ellis would give the Pacers that instant offense that they’ve been missing for quite some time but the downside to Ellis is his attitude. At times he can be hard to please. His on-ball defense can be sketchy at times as well. He can get steals in the passing lane but more times than none you’ll get burnt from taking that risk.

Then there’s Nick Young and Marcus Thorton. Young isn’t consistent enough nor is he a defender that Coach Vogel would have confidence in. Lance Stephenson would take his starting spot before the season even starts. Marcus Thorton is a guy who can flat out fill it up. I can see him fitting in well with this current roster.

Vince Carter and Thaddeus Young are two other guys who’s names have been floating around also. The Pacers will not make a move for Vince Carter, that should be a given for obvious reasons. Young is very doubtful to me as well. He’ll bring more size and athleticism which is a good thing but it’s not really needed as much as scoring.

The next player would be a great fit but would be a risky trade, that player is the “Poor Man’s LeBron,” Andre Iguodala. He’s one of the most athletic guys in the league and also has good offensive skills, but consistency has been a problem for him this season but we all know what he can do when fully engaged. But the one part of his game that separates him from the other guys that I have named is his defense. He is for sure one of the best defensive guys in the league and if he isn’t feeling it on offense he’ll most likely always be solid on defense.

There are plenty of other names that have been floating around but as far as the Indiana Pacers go i say that these guys make the most sense for their roster needs. Granger most likely will not be traded this season because of his knee issues but anything could happen. I know for a fact that he will not be wearing the Pacer blue and gold for much longer. He will have to play at his absolute best when he returns if he wants any hope of staying in Indy.

George Hill: I love what Hill brings off the bench. He brings many different things to the table. Not only can he get open for a spot up jumper but he can also create his own offense when needed. He shoots 42 percent from the three point line and shoots 48 percent from the field. Numbers wise i wished he’d bring more scoring and assist to the team. He gets 10 points per game and one assist. He plays 24 minutes per game and the numbers he’s getting doesn’t really reflect that. On the other hand the Pacers do have six players in double figures so the 10 he’s getting now is just enough.

David West: At first it was obvious to me that he came here just for the money. Even on his Twitter account he had his location as “Indy…”. The three dots say a lot. But now as the team is coming into their own and being relevant it seems like he’s enjoying his time with this young up and coming Pacers team. He evened changed his Twitter location from “Indy…” to “Indy!!!”. I love seeing him in the pick and roll game with Collison. There’s a lot of easy points coming from this duo. Then the depth at the forward position is great. Hansbrough is without a doubt one of the best sixth men in the league. Hansbrough is no push-over so when West goes out of the game we’re not losing much production.

Paul George: Paul George gets better and better every game. He’s shooting the ball well and he’s giving the Pacers versatility on both ends of the floor. He can guard point-guards all the way to the small-forward position. On offense he’s not quit yet an offensive nightmare but he does bring some  match up problems for certain teams. I see great things to come for George. I can’t wait until he taps into his full potential. There’s a lot of upside to this young Pacers guard.

Tyler Hansbrough: I’ll be the first one to tell you that i wasn’t to pleased when the Pacers drafted him. I thought he’d turn out to be like Adam Morrison to be flat-out honest. I didn’t think his game would translate to the NBA game. He proved me wrong. He is the perfect example of  your “blue-collar” athlete. He shows that with hustle and hard work you can be successful. He’s one of the toughest players that I’ve seen play for the Pacers. I have a ton of respect for what he does night in and night out for this organization. He’s our garbage man. He cleans up around the rim with his offensive rebounds and put backs. Also he’s just flat-out frustrating to play against. Ask KG, ask Amare’ Stoudemire. They can’t stand the guy. Tyler will go out there and out hustle whoever it is he’s playing against.

Danny Granger: He’s having a down year statistically but I’m not to worried about it. I’d rather have him have lower numbers and win than have him put up 26 to 28 points per game and lose. He struggled a lot early on from the field but in the last few games he has put up big scoring numbers but he’s more efficient and that’s great for him. I expect his shooting percentage of 35 from the field to raise before the all-star break. Look for him to post up more and to get more involved in the running game. At the end of the day Danny Granger is Danny Granger and we know what to expect from him.

Roy Hibbert: I’ve studied his game since the first day we drafted him. He’s definently one of the most improved players since his draft. He used to be soft and somewhat timid when he went up against some elite centers and bigs known for great defense. Now he’ll take it to anyone. I watched their game against the Lakers last week and he played his heart out. Him and Andrew Bynum were having a physical warfare out there. Hibbert showed me that he’s not going to choke in crucial parts of the game down the stretch. Last season there were articles judging him on being timid and weak-minded at the face of adversity but throw all that out the window now. He has coaches that believe in him and a ton of Hoosiers in the state of Indiana that have faith in him as well.

Darren Collison: I’m loving how smart he’s playing this season. He only averages five assist per game but if basketball took into account hockey assist he’d have way more than five, I can guarantee that much. Also he’s taking smarter shots. Last season i used to cringe every time he put up a shot but this season not so much. The pick and roll option with Hibbert and West get him open for more easy mid range shots. On top of creating offense for his teammates he can use his speed to get to the whole at will. He’s usually faster than half the point-guards he faces. He creates so many opportunities for others to be successful. That unselfish play is the key to the Pacers success and it all starts with him.