Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

  1. #1
    Member Speed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Brownsburg
    Posts
    8,489

    Default Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ml?eref=si_nba

    by Marty Burns

    Earlier this season, Pacers forward Danny Granger dived headfirst for a loose ball in a game against the Celtics. Never mind that Indiana was blowing out Boston by 16 points in the fourth quarter. The 6-foot-9 Granger still hurtled his body at the ball as if it were the final seconds of a one-point contest. Paul Pierce fell on top of him, and Granger's mouth went straight into the Conseco Fieldhouse floor.

    "It was pretty bloody," said Granger, who lost two teeth but stayed in the game and wound up scoring a team-high 20 points to spearhead a 95-79 victory.
    "I was in the [dentist's] chair for two-and-a-half hours later that night ... then I had to go back two days later for another two hours. ... It was hard to eat for about a week."

    The symbolism could not have been more perfect. Just a day before, Granger had signed a five-year, $60 million contract extension. Now here he was, showing all those disaffected Pacers fans that the new franchise cornerstone intended to earn every penny -- even if it means spending the rest of his evening in a dentist's chair.

    Talk about a new face of the franchise.

    Ready or not, that's the position in which Granger finds himself now. The fourth-year forward from New Mexico, who has not yet made an All-Star team, has been tabbed to follow the likes of Reggie Miller and Jermaine O'Neal as Mr. Pacer in basketball-mad Hoosier country.

    "I definitely embrace it," Granger said as he sat at his locker before a recent game. "With the contract extension, I'm going to be here a while, so I think that's a good thing. My role has changed. I kind of have to take it on my shoulders to do my part to help this team get back to where it was, and I think it starts with us getting to the playoffs."

    Whether the retooled Pacers can get to the postseason this year remains to be seen, but they are on the right path with Granger.

    The athletic forward has established himself as a rising star, improving every season since being drafted in the first round (No. 17 overall) in 2005. Hailed as an NBA-ready defender after four years of college, he has evolved into a big-time scorer as well. Granger averaged 19.6 points while shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range last season.

    With fellow top scorer Mike Dunleavy yet to play a game because of a knee injury, Granger has picked up his play even more this season. Through Tuesday, he was tied for sixth in the NBA in scoring (24.3) while adding 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Granger had 34 points (on 13-of-18 shooting) Tuesday night as the Pacers defeated the Hawks 113-96 to move to 5-5.

    "Danny's been great," Pacers point guard T.J. Ford said. "He's improved every year he's been in the NBA. He's earned [that franchise tag]."

    Though Granger's playing skills are impressive, he is not yet the kind of complete All-Star type who normally gets tabbed as the face of a franchise. He still needs to work on his ball-handling and passing. For the most part, Granger looks to be more like a solid No. 2 guy on a championship contender, rather than a superstar.
    For this Pacers club, however, Granger might be the perfect man for the job. Indiana ranked last in the NBA in attendance in 2007-08 as fans finally decided they had seen enough after recent seasons marred by the brawl in Detroit and a subsequent series of off-court incidents involving players. Pacers president Larry Bird admitted after last season that one of his main goals going forward would be to clean up the image of the team.

    Respectful and well-mannered, Granger has never had a whiff of trouble since arriving in Indiana. The New Orleans native, who majored in civil engineering at New Mexico, recently donated $500,000 to his alma mater to help renovate its basketball arena. Pacers insiders praise him for his work ethic and practice habits.

    "We don't have a 'face of the franchise.' We just have the Pacers," coach Jim O'Brien said. "But Danny Granger is a very, very good player. He's got the highest plus/minus ratio on our team. He's a real solid leader. He's one of our two captains, along with Mike Dunleavy. He is a scorer, but he's also a solid defensive player. He's well-rounded."

    Granger provided a glimpse of that all-around game Tuesday night against the Hawks. He hit jumpers, attacked the basket and posted up Marvin Williams inside to draw a foul and a trip to the line. He also snuffed a Williams layup attempt on defense, then turned it into points on the break by redirecting a touch pass to teammate Rasho Nesterovic for a layup.
    Granger came up big when it counted, too, scoring seven points during a 9-2 Pacers run that iced the game after Atlanta had trimmed the lead to seven in the fourth quarter. O'Brien also credited him with seven deflections on the defensive end. It's that kind of leadership that Granger hopes will help the Pacers win games and get fans back at Conseco.

    "Its definitely a new chapter around here," he said.

    "Changes have been made from the head office to the players. It's a new era now, and we have to take responsibility."

    Even if it means giving up your teeth in pursuit of a loose ball.

  2. #2
    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Danberry
    Age
    54
    Posts
    11,443

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    Hey, hey, hey now. Let's be careful about throwing that "Mr. Pacer" title around so loosely.
    BillS

    "Every time I pitched it was like throwing gasoline on a fire. Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw! Pkkw!"
    - Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh

  3. #3
    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bloomington
    Posts
    13,373
    Mood

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Hey, hey, hey now. Let's be careful about throwing that "Mr. Pacer" title around so loosely.
    Good call. But Every era has a "Mr. Pacer". In the 80's wasn't it Clark Kellogg?

  4. #4
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5,772

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Good call. But Every era has a "Mr. Pacer". In the 80's wasn't it Clark Kellogg?
    Actually, for a while, it was Billy Knight, then it was Vern Fleming.

    Historically, a lot of times the term "Mr. Pacer" (or "Mr. Insert Name of Your Team Here") was given to the guy who had played the most games or spent the most years with the franchise.

  5. #5
    Member Speed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Brownsburg
    Posts
    8,489

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    The thing I like about Danny this year is when you hear him interviewed before a game he talks in terms of why they expect to win.

    I think they go in with the mindset that they will win every night and they are willing to do whatever it takes to do it.

    It's not bravado or saying what people want to hear, imo, but the true way they think.

    I think some of that starts with Danny and not out of ego at all.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    Read the following:

    "We don't have a 'face of the franchise.' We just have the Pacers," coach Jim O'Brien said.


    Repeat as often as necessary.








    .
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

  7. #7
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Free Lance!
    Posts
    8,057

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Read the following:

    "We don't have a 'face of the franchise.' We just have the Pacers," coach Jim O'Brien said.


    Repeat as often as necessary.








    .
    Yeah, I found that interesting.

    I also found it interesting that he was quick to point out Dunleavey as co-captain. Not sure what to make of it.
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

  8. #8
    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Downtown baby
    Posts
    12,618

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    He's got the highest plus/minus ratio on our team.
    That's a huge turnaround for Danny who typically was last on the team. And while I admit that +/- has quirks to it and in short bursts can look off, over the long haul it starts making a point.

    You know Saras had a good one his first year, but what was hidden that it was really high the first month or so and then started dropping. His season total +/- looked good, but for the 2nd half of the season he had perhaps the worst on the team.

    So people would say it didn't tell the story on the total number, but if they'd looked closer they would have noticed it was on to something.

    I'm Danny=Pip but his poor +/- wasn't an accident the last few years, it had a lot to do with the mistakes that came along with his game.

    Plus TOs off his dribble. Look at how massively improved his drives to the rim have become.

  9. #9
    It Might Be a Soft J JayRedd's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    33
    Posts
    12,158

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    Are they serious with that headline?
    Read my Pacers blog:
    8points9seconds.com

    Follow my twitter:

    @8pts9secs


  10. #10
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Free Lance!
    Posts
    8,057

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    Quote Originally Posted by JayRedd View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Are they serious with that headline?
    That's the headline. Kinda cute, I guess.
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

  11. #11
    It is ka Thankee sai Major Cold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Garrett, IN
    Posts
    9,033
    Mood

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    This talk needs to be defined on the court and reciprocated off the court.

  12. #12
    Member BobbyMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Homeless Traveler
    Posts
    1,163
    Mood

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Granger cutting his teeth as the new leader of the revamped Pacers

    I think there is way too much emphasis on one person being the leader of the team, just like there is way too much emphasis on who is the #1, #2 scoring option. Think Team!

Similar Threads

  1. New Granger article on CNNSI
    By JBones19 in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-20-2008, 09:54 AM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-13-2008, 06:30 PM
  3. Hollinger's Forecast
    By OakMoses in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 10-02-2008, 02:04 PM
  4. Granger ready to lead
    By GrangerRanger in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-16-2008, 12:06 PM
  5. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 11-29-2007, 01:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •