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Thread: Opinion, Please

  1. #1

    Default Opinion, Please

    Hoopologists,

    I have begun the process of filling out my ballots for the various NBA post season awards. In the past, I have relied on my own observations and the opinions of other trusted observers to fill out the ballots, but this year I'd like to add another element.

    Specifically, I'm curious as to what Pacer fans think of Danny Granger's credentials for the Most Improved Player Award. I have some preliminary thoughts on this and have identified three viable candidates, but I've found the folks on this board to be generally thoughtful and, for the most part, surprisingly objective.

    In other words, let me know what you think and why. There's always the possibility that I'm missing something, and I'd like to use this forum as a resource in this specific instance. In exchange, I'll share my ballot and the reasons behind my thinking once I've made a final selection.

    Thanks,
    MJB

  2. #2
    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    I'm sure this board will give you a totally objective opinion on anything you ask...
    ...Still "flying casual"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    You can make a definite case for Durant over Granger. The only qualifier is that the Pacers are a better team, though Durant's team did a very good job of late beating SA. Granger comparable to Durant, but Durant probably means more to OKC, since I feel there are better pieces in Indiana than OKC at the moment.
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  4. #4
    Looking like a season JB24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    I wouldn't give it to Durant. His is a natural progression you'd expect from a second year player of his caliber. I don't think you can go wrong with Harris or Granger, it's definitely a tough choice.

    Jameer Nelson is the guy i was leaning towards earlier in the season, but he got injured.

  5. #5
    FREE LANCE MillerTime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    I dont think Granger will be a candidate for MIP. This isn't because he is a great player, I think its due to the fact that Granger had a great previous season. Even though he did manage to improve his game this season, there are some players that have improved more than he did.

    I think Durant, Harris, you might even have a case for Mo Williams, or Rondo
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



  6. #6

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Suaveness (and others),

    Please allow me to clarify my earlier post.

    I have already identified two candidates other than Granger, and having looked at both closely I feel I have a good feel for the merits of both. What I'm looking for is a compelling reason (or reasons) that I may have overlooked that might put Danny over the top. Though I appreciate your thoughts on Durant, I'm looking specifically for pro-Granger feedback.

    In filling out these ballots, I think objective analysis is critical; otherwise, the system doesn't work. That said, I want to give Pacer players the benefit of every doubt before officially filing my ballot, and at the moment my thought is that Danny is third behind the other two.

    Convince me that I'm making a mistake.

    Thanks,
    MJB

  7. #7
    Member PaceBalls's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    I find it hard to believe that Danny wouldn't win it this year. He has had one of the best seasons of any Pacer ever. He had a good season last year at almost 20ppg, but this season was special for him, over 25ppg, becoming the leader of the team. He went from good to All Star/franchise player.

    Who are the other candidates?

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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    I'm probably too harsh, but I actually feel like Granger took a step back defensively this year. I really just think it's Devin's award this year, I don't really think anyone else comes close.

  9. #9
    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Well first off we probably need to get the other guys out there too for comparison.

    Devin Harris has to be on the potential list. Probably Durant as well. My issue with both of them is that for the most part I think each is doing what they were already showing last season, especially Durant. Paul Millsap is more of the traditional type, gets a lot more minutes, sees overall numbers increase, but the case is made that he earned those extra minutes with better play.

    KD has no defense still. His main thing is his shot and his ability to dribble into it and rise over people. That's perhaps gotten better, but I'm not sure he added a dimension to his game.

    Harris had a nice impact but again he was already somewhat this player. He was handed more chances to be that player basically. His FG% is down from a few years ago (ie, less selective) and his assists per minute aren't really any better. What you end up with is a guy that suddenly drew twice the fouls, which is a good quality by itself, but for the most part just started taking more shots and being more ball dominant.


    Millsap is tough to argue against. Workhorse player, probably was already kinda this good but in fairness to him that's a lot more minutes and he avoided a big per minutes dropoff. I like him as an option over Harris and Durant for this.

    GRANGER
    **************************
    Danny had the 3, no increase there. But DG's improvement comes in his off the dribble moves which was a specific issue we discussed last year. Many people noted this as a weak point, so the fact that he attacked that directly is impressive.

    Beyond that though he's also added a variety of new shots that are legit (ie, he can shoot them with confidence and has the makes to back that confidence) which include catch and shoots off curls as well as drives to the rim. He used to lag Shawne Williams greatly on ability to drive to the rim, for example.

    He was also asked to improve his passing and he's shown that too.

    His defense is NOT better. Good help defender, not so hot on the ball. Bites fakes at a very high rate.

    Another issue is that as good as he is, it's not like he was off the table last year. He was a 40% 3 ball guy with 19 a night, drawing a fair amount of fouls, rebounding better, already dishing 2 per game. We forget just how steady his growth has been. However that also means he's grown this year, his game CHANGED, he didn't just get more playing time.
    **************************

    Couple other guys that came to mind with improvement: Brandon Roy, John Salmons (sneaky improvement, seems under the radar), Ty Thomas, Nene a bit (but injuries cloud that situation), Nelson (pretty sharp last year already), Von Wafer, Ariza (I think he's a product of the team/situation).

    Of all those other guys I'd say Von Wafer really struck me as a "who the hell" type of guy. He's remarkably poised, very quick and has a great overall game, and yet where did he come from. Perhaps not high profile enough to make it on the MIP list, but he is better without a doubt.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 04-01-2009 at 09:34 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Granger is the only player in league history to improve his scoring average by 5 + points in 4 consecutive seasons. He is an excellent shot-blocker. He was on his way to setting the franchise record for 3's made in a season prior to his tendon injury (plays on the same franchise as all time league leader in threes made in career). He has drastically increased his free throw attempts this season. Has hit big time shots in the fourth quarter, and I believe I heard he is second in the league in fourth quarter scoring to D Wade. Those are some interesting tidbits when contemplating MIP.

    I think these are pretty valid reasons, and I believe them all to be true. These statements are all made off the top of my head and I haven't done any research to prove these statements as fact.
    Last edited by IU_sears; 04-01-2009 at 09:35 PM.

  11. #11
    Mr. Clutch granger33's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Danny is going to be the 1st player in NBA history to bump his ppg up 5pts 3 years running. thats pretty impressive to me. His improved every year.
    Last edited by granger33; 04-01-2009 at 09:35 PM.

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    DG will be the first player ever to improve his scoring average by 5 points in 3 straight seasons, finishing in the top 10 for his first time, as im sure you realize.

    Stats-wise, DG makes a great case, as does Harris, another front runner.

    But stats aside, as if you havent seen them all year, I would have to go with DG. I think he has shown the most improvement to his game in the league. A vastly improved ball handler, both in the open court and in the half court and with the defender riding his side, improved left hand, much improved passer and can anticipate when to pass before he has to, improved shot blocker(leads all SF's in blocks per game), always had a nice mid range jumper but i think that has improved also.
    Last edited by ReginaldWayne; 04-01-2009 at 09:37 PM.

  13. #13
    Mr. Clutch granger33's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    haha 3 people in a row say that

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  14. #14
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by granger33 View Post
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    Danny is going to be the 1st player in NBA history to bump his ppg up 5pts 4 years running. thats pretty impressive to me. His improved every year.
    What he said.
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “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

  15. #15

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    I was wrong on fourth quarter scoring, he actually trails LBJ, Kobe, and D Wade.... not bad company to finish in fourth behind. He also has increased his FT % each season this year posting career best at 88.5%... Did I mention he leads the league in second quarter scoring?

  16. #16
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Mark,

    As noted previously, Danny is posting improvements, and, in some cases, career highs in Points, Assists, Blocks, Three Pointers (Made, Attempted, and %), and FT's (Made, Attempted, and %). His FT attempts are up to almost 7 per game, and again, he's hitting a career high .885.

    Per 82games.com, he's fourth in the league in 4th quarter scoring, just behind James, Bryant, and Wade, and ahead of Brandon Roy, Devin Harris, and Chris Paul.

    http://www.82games.com/0809/QTR4S11.HTM (could not find 2007 numbers for comparison, but I'll keep looking.

    However, I did find one thing that you may not know. It's also from 82games, and it has to do with their "Game Winning Shot" stat.

    http://www.82games.com/gamewinningshots.htm

    First, a brief explanation, per 82games:

    Game Winning Shot Opportunity = 24 seconds or less left in the game, team with the ball is either tied or down by 1 to 2 points.

    Why use this definition?

    1. With 24 seconds or less, then it truly is a "last possession" situation potentially
    2. With a margin from tied to down 2, the team can take the lead with a made basket (including 3's)
    3. By excluding a down 3 situation, we don't have the "gimme two point buckets" that defenses will sometimes yield to the quick bucket/intentional foul strategy option you often see exercised.

    Obviously though this definition means a shot may not actually be a game winner -- it may only tie a game (if down two points) or it may allow enough time for the opponents to get a game winning shot of their own. Still it seems a reasonable compromise.
    The data sample was for 5 years, and Danny was down on the list. However, they did note the year by year leaders:

    '08-09
    Granger 5-7
    Roy 4-7
    R.Mason 3-3
    Durant 3-8
    Felton 3-8

    How does this work into the case for most improved? Prior to this season, Danny had missed all 7 of his opportunities for such shots.

    This is stat heavy, primarily because I couldn't pretend to have a better view for the softer, intangible attributes than you do. However, from my perspective, I think some weight should be given to Danny's evolution to the face of the franchise. Where Devin Harris has Vince Carter in New Jersey, and Paul Millsap has Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, and even Andrei Kirilenko, Danny is unquestionably the most recognizable and most popular Pacer. This, despite being the sixth man and often a fourth or fifth option a scant two years ago.

    It's true my view is only as an outsider and a fan, but I certainly believe the grace and aplomb with which he has accepted this mantle should be of great credit to him. While this may not be of importance to the larger NBA community, I don't think the Pacers could have asked for a more perfect player to represent the franchise as they try to emerge from under the dark cloud that has hovered for the past few years. He has an uncommon combination of natural skills, impeccable work ethic, thirst for improvement, dignity, and charisma.

    Also, while this is a one year award, I would think you could make a case for a lifetime achievement of improvement. Danny's career has been marked by a continuous and steep learning curve. While others may have made comparable (or arguably bigger) leaps this season, this type of improvement is really what Danny does, and he should be rewarded for it.

    Hopefully, you can find something in that gibberish that can be of use to you.

    Thanks, count

  17. #17
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    If I was making a case for Danny Granger I'd want to take a look at his role this year versus last year and look at some changing perceptions. Last year he had Mike Dunleavy to help shoulder the load. This year he was put into a position where it was his load alone. I'd say he certainly excelled with his scoring as well as steadily improved his ability to knock down some clutch shots and there were several opportunities. Just because we didn't win the game doesn't mean Danny didn't hit a huge 4th qtr shot (or get to the line) in crunch time that put the team into position to have a shot at winning. I don't have the stats in front of me but he had several 30 point games, even with the defense knowing Danny was the Pacers lone All-Star and go to guy.

    I think Danny's confidence and swagger have improved immensely over the course of this season as compared to last. That can't be overlooked. Especially when so much was put on his shoulders and expected of him this season in the first place... and moreso when Dun was basically a 'no show' for the majority of the season. He's seemingly embraced the role as leader and I certainly get the feeling he has the respect of his teammates. Even with his expanding role and prominence on the team I've seen nor heard of any issues or jealousy (or over-inflated ego) driving a wedge in the team's chemistry (tho you'd know better than most of us about the validity of that observation).

    Danny has clearly established himself this season as THE franchise now and for the foreseeable future. There was still some debate last season about whether Danny and Dun duplicated each other too much and which one you might be better off trading to improve the team. Not only thru loss, but in each's value to bring something back to the team in trade. It seems pretty clear that Danny has used the opportunity to silence the last smidge of that debate because few would consider losing Danny now except for one of the true faces of the NBA out there.

    It seems like he's accomplished an awful lot in just one year. From a question mark all the way to solidifying himself as the heir apparent to Reggie as well as a viable All-Star candidate for some time forward.
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  18. #18
    Step aside, King James BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    The pro-Granger points I would make are the following:

    1) He is much stronger, aggressive and successful than last year going to the bucket. This appears to be a combination of improved conditioning (strength) and an improvement in handling the basketball. This makes him much more difficult to guard.

    2) He has improved his leadership skills. Mike Dunleavy was probably the better player last year and Danny may have deferred to him a bit. Now Danny takes it upon himself to "take over" when needed and he has made numerous clutch shots. He also challenges the great players in the league like Lebron. All things considered, I believe Danny has made this his team over the last 6-12 months.

    3) His consistency has been very impressive. Just the last three games he has gone 32, 31 and 31. He never seems to have an off night.

    4) A lot of weight has been placed on his shoulders with Dunleavy being out. This has allowed teams to focus more of their defense on Danny, yet Danny has responded.

    5) His free throw percentage has risen to an elite level....closing in on 90%. This may seem like a small point, but important games come down to free throws. He has always been a good shooter, but now he is nearly automatic at the line.

    6) He has shown a level of toughness not seen last year and probably not seen in Indy since Ron Artest. He has quickly rebounded from injuries and continued to produce. He did not have these same challenges last year.

  19. #19
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by granger33 View Post
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    Danny is going to be the 1st player in NBA history to bump his ppg up 5pts 3 years running. thats pretty impressive to me. His improved every year.
    That's what I was going to add if someone else didn't beat me to it. Also, were any of your other candidates drafted as low as he was? Or even nearly as low? He's probably done the most to exceed expectations of any of the other candidates. Not only because of where he was drafted, but just how he was generally viewed by the league before now.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Hicks,

    Please elaborate on your point regarding draft status. My position is that a player establishes a base line as a rookie and is evaluated, at least in terms of improvement, based on his work in subsequent seasons. I don't see how draft position is relevant in terms of this discussion.

    Am I missing something?

    MJB

  21. #21

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    In my area of work, I have to be objective. Looking solely at the numbers, it would be hard to put Granger at the top of the list. After looking at IU Sears' first post in this thread, to me the case is made against Granger, as it is not hard to realize that Granger's scoring has been improving at a fairly good rate over the past several years. Because his improvement has been ongoing, it's hard to make a case that he is most improved. Maybe if there was a HUGE increase in other statistical categories, (and maybe I've missed something), but he actually went down in RPG and FG%. Now last year, one could have actually made a case based on stats, because he improved significantly in just about every category.

    On the other hand, this is the year when he clearly ascended to a leadership role, speaking through actions. Leaving the teeth on the floor during the Celtics game, and coming back with stitches to close out a fantastic game against the Bulls last night...I'd have to say he is most improved in terms of maturity and other intangibles. But statistically, it's hard to put him ahead of even someone on his own team in terms of most-improved player (e.g., see: Murphy, and all those double-doubles this year).

  22. #22
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by mboyle1313 View Post
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    Hicks,

    Please elaborate on your point regarding draft status. My position is that a player establishes a base line as a rookie and is evaluated, at least in terms of improvement, based on his work in subsequent seasons. I don't see how draft position is relevant in terms of this discussion.

    Am I missing something?

    MJB
    Is it not typical to have higher/lower expectations for a player based upon whether they were drafted, say, top 5 or top 10, versus lower? If that doesn't matter to you, then I guess there's nothing else to say. If it does, I would think it's another way to view Granger having exceeded expectations with his performances.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    Mark:

    I think I read or heard that Danny Granger is the only NBA player to raise his average at least 5 points per game in each of the past four seasons: 7.5 to 13.9 to 19.6 to 25.1 (as of right now).

    You could also make a mild argument for Troy Murphy, who bounced back from a very mediocre (at best) season a year ago to be 3rd in the league in rebounding (as of right now), have his highest scoring average in three years, and is nearing the Pacers' record for double-doubles in a season.

    Peace, man.

  24. #24
    Huge Member heywoode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    I just have to note that this thread is exactly the kind of reason why I love this place...

    I think Danny is the Most Improved Player simply because of his growth as a leader and developing such a high level of poise. He absolutely established to me what went wrong with Jermaine and his "leadership" of the team. Reggie Miller 'gave' the team to JO, or 'stepped aside' so JO could lead...supposedly. Nobody told Granger he was the new leader. Nobody gave him the team to run. He just went out and did what he does, and people followed.

    THAT is leadership.

    He gets my vote!



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  25. #25
    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinion, Please

    To me he improved statistically as much this season as he did last season, AND added the leadership, toughness, and clutch shooting which this team desperately needed. I've been watching other teams in the last few years, and wishing we could get that type of player and now we have it. Something else nobody has mentioned, he had this improvement under the pressure of living up to a big contract extension. Some players expect that money to roll in. Danny worked his tail off for it, and turned that money into one of the biggest bargains in the NBA.

    And I agree with count about loving this place for this type of thread. It's usually something like this that turns into the Thread of the Year.
    Last edited by travmil; 04-01-2009 at 11:19 PM.

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