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Will Galen
11-20-2006, 12:24 PM
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/web_061120.html

Caught in the Web
by Conrad Brunner
Nov. 20, 2006


Granger Becoming 3-Point Specialist
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When it became clear Danny Granger would fill the void at small forward created by Peja Stojakovic's departure, the Pacers had to take stock of that supremely important position.
On the plus side of the ledger, Granger would provide much better individual defense, comparable if not superior rebounding, more athleticism and timely if not prolific scoring. On the minus side, well, there was simply no way Granger or anybody else on the roster, for that matter would be able to replace Stojakovic's 3-point threat.

Or would he?

While no one's quite ready to proclaim Granger the heir to the Pacers' long line of 3-point royalty extending from Billy Keller to Chuck Person to Reggie Miller to Chris Mullin to Sam Perkins to Stojakovic, the young forward has done his best to live up to the standard they set.

Granger ranks just two spots behind Stojakovic at 16th in the NBA's 3-point percentage leaders at .447 (17 of 38). In the last seven games, he's gone 15-of-29 (.517).

"It's something he's worked on," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "He made some last year and really we feel Danny and (Rawle) Marshall both have to develop into good, solid 3-point shooters for us just so we can space the floor and have room for Jermaine (O'Neal) and Al (Harrington) and (David) Harrison to work on the inside. I'm encouraging them to keep working on it. Same thing with Orien Greene, same thing with all our guys, Shawne Williams, Marquis (Daniels). But Danny and Rawle, in particular, we're counting on in the near future."

Granger's emergence as a 3-point threat is by design. He posted a .392 career mark from the arc in college, so was disappointed in the .323 accuracy of his rookie year while adjusting to the 23-foot, 9-inch distance. So Granger went to work on his shot over the summer and the results are evident.

"It's coming along," Granger said. "I think I'm getting more open looks with Al and J.O. and Jack (Stephen Jackson) posting up so much. It's coming along well. It's still a focus. I try to get up shots before and after every practice.

"I just kind of have to pick and choose my spots. We have so many other offensive weapons on our team and I'm starting with them so I just have to pick and choose where I'll get my points in."

There also was a bit of old-school pragmatism in the plan to become a more effective 3-point shooter. Knowing he would be at best a tertiary option with the starters, Granger knew he'd need to maximize the relatively few opportunities he would get to score.

"Exactly," he said, laughing. "If I can only get three up if I make all three that's nine instead of six."

Though Granger's shooting has been a pleasant revelation, it is not the most important gauge of his overall performance. His primary duties are to provide staunch perimeter defense, often against the opposition's top threat, while playing a major role both on the boards and in transition. Even without scoring a point, if Granger fulfills those duties he will have played a major role.

Because of the smaller starting lineup, rebounding is particularly important for Granger, who averaged 4.9 as a rookie. He's currently at 4.6, a number that needs to improve.

"He's doing some good things offensively and his shooting is coming around," Carlisle said. "Right now, with our rebounding situation we need him to step up for us and be a guy that can be a third rebounder with that first group. He has the experience. He played the four a lot in college, he played the four a lot last year. Defensively when it comes to rebounding we need him to think a little bit more like that when he's at the three."

Though he captures a lot of attention when he fills up the box score, Granger, like Carlisle, does not gauge his performance by his point total. His most important responsibilities are the largely intangible aspects of the game.

"Some nights I'm going to score a lot of points, some nights I'm not," Granger said. "If I can help the team by rebounding and my defensive intensity then I think it's a good game."



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EDDIE'S NOT-SO-EXCELLENT ADVENTURE
Before landing a two-year contract with the Pacers in 2004 the first guaranteed NBA money of his career Eddie Gill had bounced around Greece, Italy, the IBL, ABA and D-League, a basketball journey rich with experience and hardship.

It's likely he never experienced anything like the past few months in Russia.

Gill signed a reported $600,000 contract to play for Dynamo St. Petersburg, a young but dynamic franchise that was began play in 2004 and enjoyed immediate success. In early October, however, on the verge of a new season, the franchise suddenly folded. As best I can determine from scouring various international Websites, it seems Dynamo was largely funded by a sponsorship from the city. But the city was urging Dynamo to merge with a cross-town franchise in order to consolidate resources. When Dynamo's management balked at the idea, the city pulled its funding.

According to one of the reports, a major source of the enmity between the city and franchise was this: the KGB apparently owns a stake in all Russian sports teams with the name Dynamo, and the St. Petersburg city board was stocked with former Communist Party officials that apparently did not hold the former secret police agency in high regard.

Because the franchise folded in October after NBA teams had opened camp, Gill had no shot at returning to the U.S., so he cast about for gigs in Europe. The good news is he landed with a team in Moscow.

Dynamo Moscow.



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PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Granted, this wasn't one of those weeks where candidates were lining up, but one guy did emerge. After racking up 30 points off the bench against Boston and New Jersey, Marquis Daniels earned a promotion to the starting lineup Saturday in Milwaukee, replacing the slumping Stephen Jackson. The player acquired for Austin Croshere finally has started looking comfortable and therefore playing more aggressively in the Pacers' system, averaging 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals in three games last week.



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GAME OF THE WEEK
After getting outscored by 50 points in the first 2 games of the week (losing to Boston 114-88, New Jersey 100-91 and then trailing Milwaukee 50-35 at the half) the Pacers finally came to life and dominated the second half 67-50 to pull out a much-needed 102-100 victory over the Bucks despite the absence of leading scorer Al Harrington. In the process, the Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak.



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STAT OF THE WEEK
That the Pacers would have three players in the NBA's top 20 in 3-point percentage is surprising enough. But consider the players: Darrell Armstrong is sixth (.560), Al Harrington ninth (.500) and Granger 16th (.447). Those players entered the season with career 3-point marks of .334 (Armstrong), .288 (Harrington) and .323 (Granger).



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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Explaining reports of a heated discussion with Rick Carlisle, Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh in the visiting coach's office after the loss in Boston, Jermaine O'Neal had the last word: "It wasn't an argument. It was opinions stated about games and situations and that's what it was. Everybody's prideful. When you expect to win and you get beat the way we got beat, you're going to be a little more emotional. Our conversation maybe should've waited till (the next day), till things calmed down a little bit. But if you didn't have a person with passion, a person that cared, you'd be in trouble."

pizza guy
11-20-2006, 12:45 PM
"It's something he's worked on," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "He made some last year and really we feel Danny and (Rawle) Marshall both have to develop into good, solid 3-point shooters for us just so we can space the floor and have room for Jermaine (O'Neal) and Al (Harrington) and (David) Harrison to work on the inside. I'm encouraging them to keep working on it. Same thing with Orien Greene, same thing with all our guys, Shawne Williams, Marquis (Daniels). But Danny and Rawle, in particular, we're counting on in the near future."

Only part of this article that made me go :wtf:

This has been discussed numerous times, but let's re-open it in light of this article. Move Danny to SG and Jackson to SF. Each play better offense at those spots, and probably better defense as well. The problem is rebounding.

Oh ye great basketball minds, discuss!

Isaac
11-20-2006, 01:12 PM
Danny has been much more of a perimiter player this season then he was last year, which has me torn on where he should play. I like him going to the basket, drawing fouls and being aggressive, but if he's really going to commit to that outside shot and continue to shoot it well, then by all means, that is something we definitley need. I'd like to see a lineup of Quis at point guard, Danny at shooting guard, Al at small forward, Jermaine at power forward and Jeff at Center. I've always advocated Jeff as more of a power forward, but I think this lineup could really work at times.

CableKC
11-20-2006, 02:49 PM
Its good that he's a decent 3pt threat from beyond the arc....but I really prefer that Granger stay closer to the basket then hovering around the 3pt line. Although I don't mind if Granger is called upon to make a much needed 3pt shot or even one when he left wide open.....but I dont want a player with the all-around abilities and skills like Granger to fall in love with the 3pt shot.

If we really need a 3pt specialist ( which we really do )....trade or acquire one before the deadline.....don't make Granger one.

Just
11-20-2006, 02:50 PM
Okay, so, Danny has emerged as a more than solid outside shooter. Remind me again why we need Jackson? Ship him off, keep Quis as the starter, and let Danny continue to be a sold shooter AND give him the shot Jack would have had, letting him attack the basket some...

CableKC
11-20-2006, 03:29 PM
Okay, so, Danny has emerged as a more than solid outside shooter. Remind me again why we need Jackson? Ship him off, keep Quis as the starter, and let Danny continue to be a sold shooter AND give him the shot Jack would have had, letting him attack the basket some...
Unfortunately, we are really thin at the Guard position. Unless we are able to acquire a somewhat decent Guard in return......we still need a player like SJax as he's still a somewhat capable defender ( when he actually tries on defense ) and is still a decent scorer ( as long as TPTB figure out what role he should play on the team....hopefully as a 30+ minute bench player ).

Also....until I see Granger take a more prominent role on the offense....right now...as a 3rd / 4th option ( since he's usually on the floor with Harrington, JONeal and even SJax ) while taking about 8 FGA a game.......I'm not convinced he's a shooter...yet. He maybe averaging a 45% FG percentage....but I think he has benefitted from playing in a lineup where he has primarily been a 4th ( but sometimes 3rd ) scoring option that most everyone ignores on the offense.

Just
11-20-2006, 03:35 PM
Unfortunately, we are really thin at the Guard position. Unless we are able to acquire a somewhat decent Guard in return......we still need a player like SJax as he's still a somewhat capable defender ( when he actually tries on defense ) and is still a decent scorer ( as long as TPTB figure out what role he should play on the team....hopefully as a 30+ minute bench player ).

Also....until I see Granger take a more prominent role on the offense....right now...as a 3rd / 4th option ( since he's usually on the floor with Harrington, JONeal and even SJax ) while taking about 8 FGA a game.......I'm not convinced he's a shooter...yet. He maybe averaging a 45% FG percentage....but I think he has benefitted from playing in a lineup where he has primarily been a 4th ( but sometimes 3rd ) scoring option that most everyone ignores on the offense.

Let Quis start, and Marshall back him up. Boom! No need for Distraction Jackson.

pizza guy
11-20-2006, 06:42 PM
I am all for getting rid of Jackson.

CableKC
11-20-2006, 07:03 PM
Our woeful start can't be squarely put on any single player.....all the starters, coaches and backup players have a "somewhat equal" share in the level of mediocrity displayed so far this season.

Although its easy to blame SJax for many of our woes in the past....I don't think that he has done anything significant ( or at least more then anyone else on the team ) this season ( so far ) to warrant being moved before anyone else.

But back to the topic at hand......I would hope that Granger sticks more with his mid-range jumper and plays closer to the rim where his athleticsm will serve him well. I only hope that he uses his improved 3pt shot when needed or when he is left wide open......I don't want him to fall in love with the 3pt shot ( much like other SFs have ).

Naptown_Seth
11-24-2006, 02:52 AM
Danny has been way too passive on offense and if you look at his 3PA vs his 2PAs its not a "productive" ratio. You won't pressure the defense that way and you won't draw fouls. You also give up longer rebounds and as a long SF yourself you are limiting your own rebound opportunities lingering on the perimeter so much.

I'm all for him being a 40% 3ball guy that hits 4-10 every night, but I seriously doubt his shot is really at that level after the 32% we saw last season. So let's say it's more like 35%, well then he needs to cut down that ratio and get at least 2 inside looks for every outside shot.

Compare his shot selection to Jack, a guy people are ripping right here. Jack seeks out more attempts inside than out on most nights, and I mean in the paint attempts not just inside the arc.

Some of it is that Danny is still a bit intimidated on offense (or plays that way), and doesn't really have a go-to inside move, though based on last year he looked pretty comfortable in the low post. Naturally he tries to do other things at times, he just isn't all that great at them yet. This comes with every young player finding his way.

Once it clicks, once you make that effective move that you never really had before, then your game really takes a jump and that includes the confidence level.

One other issue is that the team has at times even run 3PA plays for him, and I especially don't like to see that, at least on nights when his attempts are already getting into the 5-6 range. He doesn't need encouragement to hang out beyond the arc.

Isaac
11-24-2006, 03:44 AM
That was a good post Seth, I really agree with everything you said. I think Danny isn't actually intimitated to play more inside, I think its that he sees the need for someone to hit the outside shots right now more then someone to score inside. He sees the main scorers on this team are Al and Jermaine, both inside scorers. Jack has become more of an inside scorer so far this season too, and his shot has been off, so Danny is trying to be something he's not.

I think we need to pick up an outside shooting specialist, because that will help Danny's development loads.