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View Full Version : A Realistic Discussion About Danny--Past, Present and Future



JayRedd
01-13-2007, 12:51 AM
Granger comes up clutch at times -- well a lot of times, but he still has room to grow in that department. In some games it seems like he shys away from the ball until the 4th quarter. It's like he gains a ton of testicular fortitude in the 4th quarter. He grabs clutch rebounds a LOT. The other night when we knocked off Boston he had been struggling with his shot all night, but got a pass from J.O. in the 4th quarter and didn't even think twice about releasing a three-pointer. He shot it as if he knew there was no way he'd miss. He did the same thing tonight in the 4th quarter, clutch 3-pointer.

It amazes me how quickly Granger catches on to things. He started off last season learning two different forward positions. By the time we hit the All-Star break he looked like he'd been playing both positions for 3 years. Then his jumpshot was inconsistent all season. But in the playoffs last year and in Peja's absence, Granger hit 55% from beyond the arc.

This year he's started off slow but unlike the older and much more experienced Al Harrington, he found a way to make his presence felt in the game without having to dominate the ball. The 22 points he scored tonight were 100% within the flow of the offense.

Point is, if Granger can be featured a bit more in the offense and work HIMSELF into becoming a go-to guy, I know he can be the player we need so badly. The reason I say that is because he has one thing about him that Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Baron Davis, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller etc. have in common. A killer instinct. I'm not saying he'll ever be as good as any of those guys, but the way this guy picks up things, I don't have reason to believe that he can't be as good as any of them with a lot of hard work.



I don't think Granger will ever be a go to guy. As in a guy you just give the ball to and tell him to create something either on a set play or when a play breaks down. In order to get even close to that level he needs to improve his ball handler about 90%. No I think Danny will always be a complementary offensive player. Nothing wrong with that though


Okay...We're a little over 120 games into the career of Danny Granger.

I think it's about time that we try to figure out what we really have here. Some people think he'll be the next Scottie Pippen. Some think he'll make a few All Star games. Others think he'll be a career Shane Battier role player. Others see Derick McKey. While still others are probably wondering what all the fuss is about.

Most likely we're all wrong. And he'll end up just being Danny Granger.

But what is Danny Granger? What are his strengths, weaknesses, traits? What can he and can he not do on a basketball court? What has he been doing? What does he need to start doing?

Ev_eezy and UB got the ball rolling better than I could right now, so let's use their ideas as a starting point.

Discuss.

Quis
01-13-2007, 01:04 AM
His offense is a lot better than I thought it was. He's really looking like a future 20 ppg player in my opinion. Sadly, his rebounding has dropped off a ton, as has his steals and blocked shots to a lesser extent.

In my opinion, he'll be a player on a similar level to Josh Howard. Not a guy who will be THE MAN on a championship team, but a great sidekick.

Aw Heck
01-13-2007, 01:07 AM
Granger is probably my favorite Pacer. When I saw him last year as a rookie, I was very impressed with what I saw. He was a good all-around player for a rookie and most of the time he didn't even seem like he was a rookie out on the court. Based off what I saw, I believed the predictions that one day he would be the next Scottie Pippen or Shawn Marion.

I no longer believe he'll ever be that great. Sure, Granger shares a similar build, number, and all-around ability as Scottie Pippen, but he is not at his level. And I'm not entirely convinced that he'll ever be. Right now, I'm doubtful that he'll even be an all-star.

I think he'll end up being like Shane Battier; great guy, good all-around player, unselfish, and smart. He'll never be an all-star, but he's a guy you love having on your team.

Of course, I'd love nothing more than to be wrong about his potential. But even though my expectations of him have lowered, I still think he's a great part of the team. And I would hate to see him leave.

Frostwolf
01-13-2007, 01:08 AM
Josh Howard is a monster.

Evan_The_Dude
01-13-2007, 01:11 AM
He might not ever be a superstar, but he has the killer instinct of a superstar when it comes to the 4th quarter. I don't know if there's anything he 'can't' do because he continues to develop his game. The thing that I get a kick out of about him is that he develops his game mostly during the season. Whereas most other players don't show significant progress until the following season -- after off-season workouts.

I keep hearing about his ultra positive never down attitude, and he has the willingness to work hard. I think he's GOT to work on his ball handling even though I must admit that it seems even that aspect of his game has shown signs of promise -- especially in the past 4 or 5 games.

He can easily be a 20 point 6-8 rebound 1 block 1 steal guy in this league. I think he'll always be one of those 'under the radar' type of players for his entire career. You know, there's always that guy that averages 20ppg that you'd never suspect even had that ability -- Like Kevin Martin for example. I think... or know, Granger has what it takes to get to that point. I'm sure he's willing to as well. The question is, will Carlisle ever give him a real CONSISTENT chance to make it happen?

SoupIsGood
01-13-2007, 01:12 AM
Man, we've really screwed the pooch in terms of this roster and Danny, huh? Al was brought in to be our PF, but that didn't work and now he's stuck as our starting SF, despite the fact that Danny looks to be the much better SF for us very soon.



Anyway I think that Danny will be a Josh Howard kind of player. I wish we had a few more players like him... give us PG who is as good as Danny and we're contenders in two years. Oh well.

BlueNGold
01-13-2007, 01:13 AM
His offense is a lot better than I thought it was. He's really looking like a future 20 ppg player in my opinion. Sadly, his rebounding has dropped off a ton, as has his steals and blocked shots to a lesser extent.

In my opinion, he'll be a player on a similar level to Josh Howard. Not a guy who will be THE MAN on a championship team, but a great sidekick.

You have a reasonable view IMO. I don't see him anywhere near Kobe/Lebron/Mello level. I do think he could be a top 15 player some day if he develops to his potential.

I think the significant improvement we have seen in his game, particularly on offense, bodes well for further development over the next few years. I suspect he will be a around a 20ppg player for multiple years within 3-4 years. ...a nice option to JO...assuming we can afford them both.

Unclebuck
01-13-2007, 01:15 AM
Anyway I think that Danny will be a Josh Howard kind of player. I wish we had a few more players like him... give us PG who is as good as Danny and we're contenders in two years. Oh well.


I like that comparison. That would be great if Danny is like Josh - although Josh is a better one-on-one player than DG.

ajbry
01-13-2007, 01:19 AM
I'll go with the Shane Battier comparison. A versatile player who is definitely a coach and fan favorite, and can be a reliable 3rd option every single night. His ceiling is probably that of 18 PPG and being the #2 option on a good team. Danny will most likely never be an All-Star, but he'll be extremely valuable, useful, and durable.

Evan_The_Dude
01-13-2007, 01:19 AM
We need to send Al to the bench and let Granger start.

ajbry
01-13-2007, 01:20 AM
We need to send Al to the bench and let Granger start.

Amen to that. Al could still get a good amount of shots, but Danny would fit in better with the starting unit, especially defensively.

Jermaniac
01-13-2007, 01:22 AM
I could see Danny putting up 20 ppg, and making a all star team here and there, but I cant see him leading a team to a championship, but he will be somebody's sidekick, somebody's Scottie.

Hicks
01-13-2007, 01:23 AM
I don't agree that he can't be a go to scorer. Being able to create offense by yourself is not a requirement for being a go-to scorer. See Miller, Reggie. It helps, and it will prevent him from being a superstar, but not a go-to guy.

I think next year we need to run more plays for him and he will then average 18ppg.

BlueNGold
01-13-2007, 01:25 AM
I'll go with the Shane Battier comparison. A versatile player who is definitely a coach and fan favorite, and can be a reliable 3rd option every single night. His ceiling is probably that of 18 PPG and being the #2 option on a good team. Danny will most likely never be an All-Star, but he'll be extremely valuable, useful, and durable.

DG is better than Battier right now and will be much better.

DG has less minutes on the floor, more points, more rebounds. And Battier is in the middle of his prime at 28 years old in his 6th season. DG is 23 yo in his 2nd season and is already outplaying him.

SoupIsGood
01-13-2007, 01:28 AM
I like that comparison. That would be great if Danny is like Josh - although Josh is a better one-on-one player than DG.


Agreed. Josh is a more natural scorer in terms of just giving him the ball and letting him do something with it. I think they will be similar in the 'caliber' (not sure I'm using the word correctly) of players that they are. I think Danny will be an awesome sidekick... we just need a few more really good sidekicks. Tinsley, Jack, and Harrington will occasionally show signs of it, but really... bleh.

Big Smooth
01-13-2007, 01:33 AM
Granger is an extremely versatile young player. I don't think it is fair to put any limits on him thus far. Sure, as P's fans we tend to overvalue our own and I think all the "next Pippen" talk probably built up some unfair initial expectations. I mean if Granger is Pippen then who is Jordan? Hmmm, not so clear. Obviously you can look at Danny's skill set and compare him to Pippen from that angle. But the kid isn't going to be a go to option on this team, not the way it stands. You've got JO, SJax, Tinman and Baby Al all needing their touches.

I think he can become a go to player. It's just a matter of whether the circumstances in Indiana will allow him to personify that role.

Evan_The_Dude
01-13-2007, 01:33 AM
I disagree with the Battier comparison. Because I think all this depth we have combined with being the 4th option and coming off the bench, is the only thing keeping Granger from scoring 18-20ppg NOW. If he was the second option (on a lesser team of course) he'd likely be doing a lot more with the ball. Battier is a much more passive offensive player that only has a killers instinct on the defensive end. Not that Battier is bad, but I think Granger can be a much better offensive player than him.

The Howard comparison is more likely. Even their numbers so far for the first two years of their careers (so far) are very similar -- with Howard being a better rebounder, and Granger being a better outside shooter.

If he fell somewhere in between those two, I wouldn't be surprised, and it wouldn't be a bad thing either. However I still think 20ppg from Granger with a little ball handling work and a bigger role is extremely realistic.

Unclebuck
01-13-2007, 01:34 AM
The bottom line for me is that Granger is a winner and a type of player that helps a team win. Those are two separate things and something I always look for in a player

Whether he's a primary or secondary scorer (my terms) is less important to me.

imawhat
01-13-2007, 01:47 AM
Man, we've really screwed the pooch in terms of this roster and Danny, huh? Al was brought in to be our PF, but that didn't work and now he's stuck as our starting SF, despite the fact that Danny looks to be the much better SF for us very soon.



Really screwed the pooch. What's worse is that we have Shawne Williams too, and he plays MUCH more like a natural SF than Danny Granger. Shawne looks as natural a SF as most anyone I've ever seen.


I really, really hope we can find a way to get these two guys on the floor together in two years.

Fireball Kid
01-13-2007, 01:48 AM
In time, I think Granger will be just about as good or better then Josh Howard. His ball handling needs work though.

imawhat
01-13-2007, 01:50 AM
Granger does have one "weakness" imo, and that's passing. He has a long way to go to improve on that.

SoupIsGood
01-13-2007, 02:00 AM
Granger does have one "weakness" imo, and that's passing. He has a long way to go to improve on that.


How do you figure? I have seen him make plenty of nice passes off of the drive-and-kick.

Or do you just mean that his assist numbers aren't high? It's hard to have high assist numbers when you touch the ball as seldom as he does.

BTW, the 'or do you...' question was not meant to sound demeaning, I'm just posing an honest question, though admittedly that can look a bit confrontational in text.

Trader Joe
01-13-2007, 02:06 AM
I think sometimes we all forget that Danny is still only a year and a half into his NBA career. He has still what 13-14 years ahead of him? Few stars are built quickly. He is averaging what 12 and 5 now off the bench? Nothing to be ashamed of. I think it is still way too early to pass final judgement on his potential, but I don't think it is off base to say he can be a Scottie Pippen. I can see his averaging 22 pts, 9 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block in his prime. The man has the smarts and the heart and has improved a few facets of his game by leaps in bounds. Most notably his ball handling. It was on display tonight against the Mavs as he took players off the dribble several times as evidenced by his 11free throws. Boy can play. IMO he is already Harrington's superior.

imawhat
01-13-2007, 02:08 AM
I'm using his assist numbers, as well as passes that he misses. It's weird, because every time he touches it I want him to drive to the basket and shoot. But then I'll want him to find the open guy, which he doesn't always do.

In his position he should be getting other guys easy looks, and I haven't seen much of that, yet.


_EDIT_

And I'm saying this while acknowledging his many strengths. He is the least flawed player on the team, and tonight he impressed me as much as he has all season. You could tell early on that he was reacting instead of thinking. It was a mini-breakthrough for the beginning of the game.

v_d_g
01-13-2007, 02:12 AM
You guys really need to get out more often; i.e. watch a few more games of other teams.

DG is not and will never be as good as Josh Howard, let alone Pippin or some such superstar. It was clear from his rookie season that Howard was going to be a player, an IMPACT player. DG will never be an impact player. The same people BEGGING for AL to be reaquired this past summer cause they thought he'd make some sort of impact are now putting their eggs in DG's basket. We had Al here before. We, well some of us, anyway, knew exactly what he brought to the table: and it wasn't significant.

DG is a mediocre player. He'll never make an allstar team.

Suggestion: watch a few more Suns' games.

Check out David Lee; drafted AFTER GRANGER, with not nearly as much hype. LEE is an IMPACT PLAYER in only his 2nd year. The sky is the limit for David Lee. He's a superior rebounder with room to grow as a defender and scorer. Hell, I'd warrant that Balkman has a better upside than DG.

Granger is already all that he can be: a supporting piece on what is a very boring, poor shooting and EXTREMELY UNathletic team.

JayRedd
01-13-2007, 02:17 AM
I certainly agree with most of you that he is incredibly versatile and has a varied skill-set that will enable him to be very valuable in nearly any sort of role. Both offensively and defensively, I think he has a lot of room for improvement.

For instance, I rarely see him doing much in terms of scoring aside from hitting spot-up jumpers, catching a pass on a cut and shooting immediately, or doing "clean-up" work (putbacks, salvaging a broken play, etc.). He has a mid-range game in that he shoots well from 10-20 feet, but he really doesn't have (or maybe just isn't able to show) much of a back-to-the-basket game, or much of a face-up-and-attack game. Yet, anyway. I see no reason he can't develop that.

And I think that maybe some of the reason he hasn't yet (other than just because of our offense, team turmoil and being around other scorers) is sort of the same thing people used to say about Yao. Similarly, Danny just seems like a nice guy out there. He is still very aggressive and I wouldn't go so far as to call it being timid, but he seems like he he'll pass up shots or opportunities to score, and defer to his teammates. Especially, last year, this often came across to me as a "deer-in-the-headlights" look.

But like Yao, he has always seemed to have an inner confidence that you can see in his body language when he has it going out there. He gets a little swagger and you can tell he's much more comfortable on the court. And like Yao, I think he'll grow a "nasty streak" soon enough. It's starting to show through, and I think he'll he's only getting more confident as he learns the NBA game and this offense and his teammates. And most importantly, how much more raw and versatile talent he has than most of the other guys he sees in this League.

My expectations are high. And while I'm often a little hard on the kid, I think it's important to remember he's only 120 games in. And his first season was nowhere even close to being an normal rookie experience.

EDIT: I'm in no way comparing him to Yao--Just his early career demeanor. My expectations are somewhere in between Derick McKey and Josh Howard. And my opinion of Howard couldn't be much higher.

Trader Joe
01-13-2007, 02:27 AM
You guys really need to get out more often; i.e. watch a few more games of other teams.

DG is not and will never be as good as Josh Howard, let alone Pippin or some such superstar. It was clear from his rookie season that Howard was going to be a player, an IMPACT player. DG will never be an impact player. The same people BEGGING for AL to be reaquired this past summer cause they thought he'd make some sort of impact are now putting their eggs in DG's basket. We had Al here before. We, well some of us, anyway, knew exactly what he brought to the table: and it wasn't significant.

DG is a mediocre player. He'll never make an allstar team.

Suggestion: watch a few more Suns' games.

Check out David Lee; drafted AFTER GRANGER, with not nearly as much hype. LEE is an IMPACT PLAYER in only his 2nd year. The sky is the limit for David Lee. He's a superior rebounder with room to grow as a defender and scorer. Hell, I'd warrant that Balkman has a better upside than DG.

Granger is already all that he can be: a supporting piece on what is a very boring, poor shooting and EXTREMELY UNathletic team.

Last I checked few people thought J. Howard would be an all-star after his rookie year. Good prospect yes. All-star? No. In fact Quis was supposed to be the best prospect on the Mavs. Players don't just suddenly level off in their second year. I think it is plain goofy to think Granger has already hit his ceiling.

ChicagoPacer
01-13-2007, 02:31 AM
I have a little program I've put together that measures players and finds similar players at various ages (similar to what you might see in the old Basketball Prospectus).

These are the 23-year olds over the last 15-20 yrs that Danny is most similar to:

Rodney McCray
Nate McMillan
Sean Elliot
Rasheed Wallace
Wally Szczerbiak
Derrick McKey
Eddie Jones
Rodney Rogers
LaPhonso Ellis
Brian Grant

It's pretty obvious that he needs to be a bigger part of the offense, and I think he will be. Granger spends too much time on the perimeter to have the ball handling deficiencies that he does. If he works on this, defenders are going to be forced to give him more space, and this will allow him to take more shots and force some double teaming. This might help his passing and assist totals a bit. He also needs to be more aggressive.

If he does these things, he'll be one of he could end up achieving more than the guys on my list, or at least end up being one of the top 2 or 3 of them.

Big Smooth
01-13-2007, 02:59 AM
DG is a mediocre player. He'll never make an allstar team.


RIIIIIIIIIIIGHT.

There isn't a heck of a lot more that needs to be said on that one.

Evan_The_Dude
01-13-2007, 12:16 PM
You guys really need to get out more often; i.e. watch a few more games of other teams.

DG is not and will never be as good as Josh Howard, let alone Pippin or some such superstar. It was clear from his rookie season that Howard was going to be a player, an IMPACT player. DG will never be an impact player. The same people BEGGING for AL to be reaquired this past summer cause they thought he'd make some sort of impact are now putting their eggs in DG's basket. We had Al here before. We, well some of us, anyway, knew exactly what he brought to the table: and it wasn't significant.

DG is a mediocre player. He'll never make an allstar team.

Suggestion: watch a few more Suns' games.

Check out David Lee; drafted AFTER GRANGER, with not nearly as much hype. LEE is an IMPACT PLAYER in only his 2nd year. The sky is the limit for David Lee. He's a superior rebounder with room to grow as a defender and scorer. Hell, I'd warrant that Balkman has a better upside than DG.

Granger is already all that he can be: a supporting piece on what is a very boring, poor shooting and EXTREMELY UNathletic team.

Last year I only had the opportunity to see 6 Pacers games due to me living on the West Coast (California). So I saw nothing but what TNT & ESPN wanted to show us, in addition to just about every Golden State Warriors game. In the 6 games I saw, I liked what I saw of Granger -- ESPECIALLY in comparison to many other NBA players. I saw my share of Suns games, and came to one conclusion: Their style of play could benefit any player with any sort of athletic ability. That's a compliment to them by the way...

I think it's pretty silly to try to compare David Lee's development to that of Grangers. David Lee for one is a Power Forward, and putting up those numbers on a GARBAGE team. Not saying he's a bad player, but do that same thing on a better team and you might have a more valid arguement. You said Renaldo Balkman might have a better upside than Granger? Sorry but that was just stupid you have nothing to back that one up.

Granger has done what he has so far on a playoff team as the 4th or 5th scoring option. Not to mention he stepped up and made some plays for us in last years playoffs, while Peja sat down and nursed his contra... I mean knee injury.

After reading what you wrote, I'm convinced that maybe it's you that should watch more Pacers games.

Evan_The_Dude
01-13-2007, 12:19 PM
I have a little program I've put together that measures players and finds similar players at various ages (similar to what you might see in the old Basketball Prospectus).

These are the 23-year olds over the last 15-20 yrs that Danny is most similar to:

Rodney McCray
Nate McMillan
Sean Elliot
Rasheed Wallace
Wally Szczerbiak
Derrick McKey
Eddie Jones
Rodney Rogers
LaPhonso Ellis
Brian Grant

It's pretty obvious that he needs to be a bigger part of the offense, and I think he will be. Granger spends too much time on the perimeter to have the ball handling deficiencies that he does. If he works on this, defenders are going to be forced to give him more space, and this will allow him to take more shots and force some double teaming. This might help his passing and assist totals a bit. He also needs to be more aggressive.

If he does these things, he'll be one of he could end up achieving more than the guys on my list, or at least end up being one of the top 2 or 3 of them.

That's not bad company. I certainly don't see the Rodney Rogers aspect of his game, but everything else makes sense in a way.

RamBo_Lamar
01-13-2007, 05:20 PM
He cannot be accurately judged until the end of career, but I would say signs
thusfar are that he will not only be a solid contributor in the NBA, but the world
in general for many years to come. Even if the Pacers lose, how can anyone
not like this guy? A truly quality, and likeable person all-around.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

vapacersfan
01-13-2007, 06:09 PM
I like what UB said, Danny is a "winner". That is what I love most about him.

pacerwaala
01-13-2007, 11:27 PM
I like what UB said, Danny is a "winner". That is what I love most about him.


Agreed 100%. He plays the right way and within the offense. He is the anti-Sjax. He does not take posessions off. He rebounds.


But my other view on this is stretch but I believe that he is our next Reggie Miller. He will be here a long time, will not talk back to his coaches, he will play within the offense, he will be clutch, he will be a team player, he will give effort every day, his behavior off the court will be immacualte, wtc, etc.

It is almost like Reggie retired and came back as Danny.

sixthman
01-14-2007, 12:27 AM
It is almost like Reggie retired and came back as Danny.

We can only hope.

Judging from his improvement over last year, I'd say it is clear he is working on different facets of his game. That was the secret of Reggie's success. Always working to get better.

Danny's ability to get his own shot, his ball handling, and his shooting are probably going to continue to improve. I think he's going to be a very good player for a long time.

Will Galen
01-14-2007, 01:39 AM
Hmmm . . . you guys talking about Reggie got me to thinking. How good would Granger be if we ran plays for him like we did Reggie?

He would have to learn to shoot the second he cleared a screen. I remember sometimes Mark Jackson would have the ball on it's way to Reggie before he even cleared the screen.

Could Granger fill that roll?

Evan_The_Dude
01-14-2007, 02:28 AM
Funny you say that Will. I noticed the last 2 games that twice in each game they actually did run Danny off a screen for a quick shot. I remember him hitting one vs. Dallas and one vs. Atlanta. He definitely looks like he could be damn good at using screens in that way.

imawhat
01-14-2007, 03:23 AM
Yeah, they've ran that play several times this year, and I've only seen Danny miss it twice. It works, but that's not how we should use him.

brich
01-14-2007, 03:32 AM
Nobody can possibly know at this point what kind of player Granger will be. It is simply too early in his career. I think you view a guy like Danny with cautious optimism. He has shown some great positives in terms of his attitude, work ethic, and improvement of his game. I personally am pretty happy with his development thus far. He has some offensive skills, he can rebound, and he puts forth effort on defense. He needs to mature as a player and refine his knowledge and technique on both sides of the floor, but that is to be expected.

He showed some flashes of his potential last year, and that got alot of people excited. Croshere and Bender also showed flashes early in their careers, and sometimes seeing that builds momentum until a player is made out to be the second coming of Jordan. I think the real key will be to see how he adapts to teams as they figure out his strengths and weaknesses. Croshere was pretty solid playing against a teams second unit, but his game suffered when he started playing against the oppositions starting unit.

I think he has a ton of potential, but how well he develops depends on Danny, his fellow Pacers, and the coaching staff. He seems to be coachable and has no glaring physical deficiencies that I have seen.

I think he might come up in trade talks when/if we make changes to our roster though -not because he isn't well liked- but because unfortunately you can't trade scrubs for all-stars. We have deficiencis that need to be filled, and his trade value may be a means to the end for them. I think alot of teams would love to have him. I know I do.

Evan_The_Dude
01-14-2007, 12:29 PM
Yeah, they've ran that play several times this year, and I've only seen Danny miss it twice. It works, but that's not how we should use him.

They should run that play with him no more than they do now, unless he gets really hot in a game. I think it's just a play designed for Danny, just like the play they run through J.O. for Jackson twice a game. You know, the one where Jack passes J.O. the ball, uses J.O. as the screen and then gets the ball back and drives to the bucket...

JayRedd
01-15-2007, 03:28 PM
I think you view a guy like Danny with cautious optimism. He has shown some great positives in terms of his attitude, work ethic, and improvement of his game. I personally am pretty happy with his development thus far. He has some offensive skills, he can rebound, and he puts forth effort on defense. He needs to mature as a player and refine his knowledge and technique on both sides of the floor, but that is to be expected.

I agree wholeheartedly about the cautious optimism.

The one thing I'm still not sure of (and I go back and forth on this as to whether I'm being too hard on him or not hard enough) is his ability to penetrate. I watched him quite a bit at New Mexico and he seemed to get to the lane off the bounce a lot more. Obviously, this is the NBA and not the WAC, but I keep expecting him to attack the basket more often. At this point, he rarely if ever puts the ball on the floor with the goal of getting to the hoop. And I'm still not sure if he's lack the aggressiveness/confidence to do so this early in his career, or he still isn't adjusted to defensive quicknes, or if this just isn't something he's going to be able to do.

Do we think he's going to start showing more of this in the months and years ahead? I wasn't really old enough to fully watch Pippen's development, but I know it took him time to become a driving threat, and it has also taken other similar SFs like Josh Howard and Luol Deng significant time as well.

ChicagoJ
01-16-2007, 06:28 PM
Sadly, his rebounding has dropped off a ton, -snip- and blocked shots to a lesser extent.

And he's not playing PF much this year, so by design he's not in great rebounding or shotblocking position on the court in the first place. I certainly wouldn't fault Danny simply because he's playing farther away from the basket.

My view on Danny is this:

I just don't get the "put him into Reggie's role" comments. He doesn't strike me as a catch-and-shoot shooter. Yes, he's got a nice jumper, but he doesn't have lightning quick release for that role.

Offensively, he's probably going to be a lot like McKey - capable of much more than he demonstrates but holding back to accomodate his teammates. I have no problem with that.

Defensively, he's probably going to be a lot like, well, Danny Granger. He can mix it up against any forward in the league, either in the paint or on the perimeter, but he still doesn't strike me as being quick enough to guard the elite, quick SGs all game long.

I'm still struggling for the right comparison defensively. I'm not sure he's a traditional lockdown guy like McKey, or a maniac like Artest that is excellent at ensuring the guy he's guarding never gets the ball (even if he has to pull Paul Pierce's pants down to do so). But Danny is better defensively than offensively.

Danny is solid, and fundamental. Battier is an appropriate comparison from that perspective, but Shane's skills are different than the skills Danny brings.

I'll be quite happy when Danny grows into a "third option" role. I don't know if he's ever going to be a second option on a contending team, I'm not sure he's "selfish" enough and when I've seen him get aggressive I haven't always liked the results. I have no idea if he'll ever be an Allstar because that's a popularity contest, not a measure of performance.

And I don't expect him to be an All-NBA candidate because Reggie was only a third-team all-NBA guy a couple of times in his career.

But I think he can be the "perfect SF" on a contending team - no major flaws in his game and his biggest attribute is that he really elevates his performance in the "big games."

He's still "nearly untouchable" in my book - because I think he is growing into the type of team player and winner this team needs in the post-Byron Scott/ Reggie Miller era.