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View Full Version : Granger's rise gives Pacers a reason for hope!



Will Galen
04-20-2008, 03:34 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080420/SPORTS04/804200394/1088/SPORTS04

Granger's rise gives Pacers a reason for hope
By Mike Wells
Posted: April 20, 2008

He told his family to go home and not wait up. He had more work to do.

Less than one hour after struggling through a 2-of-9 shooting performance in early January, Danny Granger spent about 90 minutes, alone, shooting jump shots in an empty gym.

His coaches and teammates were long gone, and there wasn't a ball boy around to retrieve his misses.

There was no magic remedy or magic number to reach. He shot until he restored his confidence.

Two nights later, Granger scored 32 points, the first of his seven 30-point games in what proved to be a breakout season that provides the Pacers a glimmer of hope moving forward.

That late-night overtime session also demonstrated the type of work ethic and commitment that led several NBA coaches and analysts to suggest the Pacers found a building block in an otherwise forgettable season.

"I think that's the moment that things really took off for me," Granger said last week. "I put it in my head that I had to just play and stop thinking so much and do what I have to do to get things going. Coach (Jim) O'Brien had even called me in his office and told me I wasn't playing up to par. He was all on me."

Granger, along with Mike Dunleavy, thrived in O'Brien's offense. Granger led the Pacers in scoring (19.6) and 3-pointers (171).

The Pacers don't want this to be his ceiling.

It can't if they hope to end a two-year playoff drought next season and begin to contend again.

Many say the soon-to-be fourth-year forward will only get better if he continues to commit himself in the gym this offseason. They view Granger as a future All-Star who has the ability to dominate on both ends of the court.

An assassin, assistant coach Lester Conner said, someone opponents cannot stop from getting to the rim.

Granger has set the bar as high as possible.

"My goal is to be like Kobe (Bryant) because he scores and he locks people down on defense," Granger said. "That's my ultimate goal. I've never really created with my dribble. I need to become the isolation player where coach can come to me and I get a bucket for the team."

Granger carries himself like an emerging force who is ready to take the reins that Reggie Miller and Jermaine O'Neal have held for many years. It doesn't hurt that he scored 30 or more points in three of the final four games.

Basketball is more than offense, of course, and that's what O'Brien reminded him.

"I think Danny will be an All-Star if he becomes a complete player," O'Brien said. "A complete player being a guy that will be our best defensive player, that people know he's our best defensive player. A guy that can absolutely shut the best player down."

Most players spend the summer working on their game. The Pacers have given Granger specific instructions on what areas to address.

They want to be able to isolate Granger one-on-one on the perimeter and let him create points or draw fouls. Before that happens, Granger has to improve his ballhandling.

O'Brien said he wants Granger to handle the ball "like it's a yo-yo." Better ballhandling will lead to more assists, currently an afterthought in his game. He averaged 2.1 assists, largely in part because he was too caught up looking down at the ball or only at the basket.

"That's like one of the running jokes on the team," he said. "They say I just shoot and I don't pass. I think it's another phase in my game I have to get better at. Sometimes I get so tuned into scoring, I miss my teammates."

After a short break, Granger will spend the offseason working with a personal trainer in Los Angeles and with Conner at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"He needs to develop a post game in the mid-post area of the foul line area," Conner said. "He also needs to recognize that when there's a switch he has to know he can take that guy. He has to be an assassin and be able to take that guy off the dribble the way players like Kobe and Paul (Pierce) do. Those guys are saying they're not going to be stopped from getting to the basket."

Whether Granger grasps and grows from the constructive criticism remains to be seen.

Several teammates said he can be "stubborn" when given advice. Granger admitted as much by grinning and putting his head down.

"He has to understand that he has to use criticism as a positive tool to get better when people come to him and say do this," O'Neal said. "They wouldn't say it to him if they didn't think he could do it. I think that's something he dealt with this year and sometimes he got a little offensive and sometimes he took it and did it."
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Some people on here will laugh when reading this, but maybe Danny is "stubborn" enough to reach his goal. More power to him!

Suaveness
04-20-2008, 03:48 AM
More power to ya Danny

Pacersfan46
04-20-2008, 04:23 AM
Take heed Grangers wife .... take heed ..... ahem, a little over the top....

-- Steve --

Will Galen
04-20-2008, 05:04 AM
Take heed Grangers wife .... take heed ........

-- Steve --

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Kofi
04-20-2008, 05:10 AM
Granger has the drive, the work-ethic, and the oh-so-important intelligence to be something special. I predict he's an All-Star next season.

croz24
04-20-2008, 10:54 AM
can't wait to trade him ;-) i'd take mayo or bayless for him straight up...

Pacersfan46
04-20-2008, 10:56 AM
Wow, all the things I see go on these boards and my post up there is a bit 'over the top'? What a joke.

I'm sure over the last 3 or 4 years this joke was made a hundred times. I would venture to say it was completely 'under the top' when it was about Kobe. Blah

-- Steve --

Hicks
04-20-2008, 11:55 AM
An encouraging read! Hopefully they haven't asked him to add too much at once (isolation, dribbling, post, passing, better defense).

If I could choose just one thing for him to really get and have coming in next year, it would be the "yo-yo" dribbling.

LG33
04-20-2008, 12:13 PM
Wow, all the things I see go on these boards and my post up there is a bit 'over the top'? What a joke.

I'm sure over the last 3 or 4 years this joke was made a hundred times. I would venture to say it was completely 'under the top' when it was about Kobe. Blah

-- Steve --

I support your previous post wholeheartedly.

I'm behind you 100% and pushing hard.

Anthem
04-20-2008, 03:34 PM
The Pacers don't want this to be his ceiling.
http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?p=697990

Coincidence. Tell me it's a coincidence.

idioteque
04-20-2008, 07:20 PM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080420/SPORTS04/804200394/1088/SPORTS04

Granger's rise gives Pacers a reason for hope

Granger has set the bar as high as possible.

"My goal is to be like Kobe (Bryant) because he scores and he locks people down on defense," Granger said. "That's my ultimate goal. I've never really created with my dribble. I need to become the isolation player where coach can come to me and I get a bucket for the team."



I love the way Granger is talking. He is the only player on this team that is truly untouchable. We need to try to find another home for Dunleavy, who I like as a player, but will thrive as the SF somewhere else and may be able to net us a good complementary player for Danny. We at least need to explore the option.

JayRedd
04-20-2008, 08:28 PM
"I've never really created with my dribble. I need to become the isolation player where coach can come to me and I get a bucket for the team."

Just so yall know I'm not the only one saying it.

Dude doesn't drive.