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Thread: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

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    Default T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

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    Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger


    By thunderbird1245, on August 7th, 2010
    This is the second edition of this series, as we look at ways some of our most important returning players can improve over the summer, and how perhaps the coaching staff can utilize them better to make them better individually, and our overall team better as whole.
    The first in this series was a comprehensive look at Roy Hibbert, tonight we stay in the frontcourt and look at our most talented player, Danny Granger.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Granger is already a top 30 player or so in the NBA and is unquestionably our best player. As he begins to enter his prime, he has started on a path that will make him one of the better players in the history of the franchise from a scoring point of view, but all the points Granger scores for us to this point haven’t led us to significant success in terms of wins and losses. In the world of an NBA player, at some point to be considered truly great a player has to become a significant driving force into making his team win. As of yet, Granger has yet to be able to do that, for whatever reason. Obviously many many factors are at fault here, but the question Granger has to be asking himself this summer is this: What can I do, what can I improve….to make MY TEAM better?
    Let’s take a look at my suggestions, and hopefully generate a great discussion about Granger’s game as it currently stands, and where it needs to get to to maximize our success as a team.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Granger has become not just a good, but an extremely good three point weapon playing for a staff that obviously emphasizes that very aspect. Granger is one of the best “snipers” in the league from beyond the arc, getting shots in a variety of ways both in transition and in the halfcourt.
    Having said that in my view the 3 point shot has become too much of his overall game, and our staffs love affair with the 3 point shot in my opinion has had some negative effect on his develop early in his career.
    Simply put, Granger isn’t hard enough to guard, takes too many of what I consider “bad” three point shots, and doesn’t have as much variety in his game as we need him to have to be successful. Despite his gaudy numbers, Granger’s points don’t necessarily help you win, due to the way he seems to get them with an over-reliance on the 3 point shot, and the jump shot in general. For him to become a player on the next level up in both talent and achievement, that needs to change.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Granger needs more variety in his game, and the coaching staff needs to quit being intellectually lazy and make him score in a more variety of ways, ways that make his teammates better and the team more successful. The way Granger played the game last year, his presence on the court mattered little in terms of whether we played well or not, or whether we won games or not. What greater indictment of your best player and how he is used can you have?
    These are some things I see :
    -Granger needs to take the ball to the basket much more often. While an outstanding percentage shooter, his success in that area is almost a hindrance to our overall team success. Granger catches the ball way too often with “lazy legs”, which is my term for not having his knees flexed and low, ready to drive on a catch, or at least getting quickly into a triple threat position. He is too straight up with the basketball.
    Being too straight up kills him when he does drive, as his dribble is too high and lets defenders be able to slide their feet and bother his bounce. It is extremely hard to start too high and then get lower as you are driving, so particular attention has got to be paid by Danny to get low AS THE BALL IS IN THE AIR COMING TOWARD HIM. As defenders are then rushing to close out on him, he will be one step quicker than he is currently, and that can be the difference in getting by the defender or being shut down.
    ————————————————————————————–
    -A major major flaw in the Pacers winning and losing is the free throw differential. As a team we foul alot, and don’t get fouled enough. Granger is a major cause for this, as he settles for jumpers when he should put the ball on the deck and attack more often.
    The one player we have other than Hibbert who has the talent to increase his foul shot attempts it is Granger. It is a vital key to offensive success to get to the line, and Granger has to get there more often, it simply has to be done.
    To do that, he has to be “harder to guard”. Way too stationary, Granger is easy to find for a defender. Our staff has to make Granger move himself more than he naturally does by calling and designing plays that force him to do that. Our staff needs to not pigeon hole him so much, and move him around to take advantage of all of his offensive gifts. Running him off more screens and in more pick and roll situations (EVEN IF IT IS NOT HIS STRONGSUIT) will give him chances to have a step advantage on a catch, which should give him some driving opportunities he doesn’t get currently.
    ————————————————————————————-
    -It is IMPERATIVE I feel for this coaching staff to put Granger on the low block and force him to develop a back to the basket game. This will make him a much tougher matchup than he is now, and will really expand his game.
    I think Granger already is a good back to the basket player, we just never see him in there. He has good footwork, good hands, and a very good touch. It is easy in my mind’s eye to see him developing a great turnaround fadeaway move, plus all the basic power post moves that he can use against smaller defenders.
    He doesn’t naturally go to the post, so the staff is going to need to force him to get in there, both in emphasis and on play design. Basically, if Hibbert is out of the game (and sometimes even when he is), I think Granger has got to be a weapon in the paint offensively. He has had success in the paint with his back to the basket in spurts, we need to be smart and get him in there much more.
    ————————————————————————————–
    -As mentioned above, we need to use him more as A SCREENER in pick and roll/pick and pop basketball. Granger may lack the passing skills to be a ball handler in a screen/roll, but he can be a major weapon as the screener I think, because no one will be able to help off him much.
    -We need to screen more for him away from the ball, and force teams to switch to help him get an advantage. And we need Granger himself to screen more for his teammates.
    In other words, we need to actually have MOTION in our “motion” offense where Granger is concerned. Boston does a great job with Paul Pierce offensively (a player I have compared Granger with for years, and I still do) with using complicated screen action involving Pierce in all sorts of ways to help him get a step on the defense, instead of just making him be stationary and throwing him the ball in a position where the defense knows exactly where he is. We need to take a page out of the Doc Rivers playbook and use Granger with much more sophistication.
    ————————————————————————————-
    Remember this truism always: A player on the move rebounds better than a player who is stationary.
    One of the by products of forcing Granger to move more and in a greater variety of ways is that his offensive rebounds should increase, as he will be closer to the areas where offensive rebounds occur. Standing stationary 25 feet from the basket launching a three pointer is counter productive to offensive rebounding anyway, so while we don’t want to eliminate the bomb from Granger’s game, we do have to expect him to increase his offensive rebounding prowess if forced to be a better and more relentless cutter.
    ————————————————————————————-
    We need as a staff to use Granger as our primary post feeder, which in reality we already do. But as a greater emphasis needs to be put on pounding the ball to Hibbert, so too does the need to get Granger to move more after he feeds the ball inside. The concept of “relocating” after a ball is passed to the post is something other Pacers do better than Granger, who tends to like to stand and survey the festivities. That can’t be allowed to continue. He needs to either cut through, go screen, or move somewhere else, because Hibbert I think will become very shortly an offensive weapon teams will be forced to double team. A powerful 2 man game between our 2 current franchise cornerstones needs to start developing, and it will if we make a commitment to get the ball to Hibbert thru Granger. If we are constantly forced to use others to feed the ball inside instead of Granger, that hurts our offense in a variety of ways.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Here is a big elephant in the room that no one talks about enough: Danny Granger ROUTINELY TAKES AWFUL SHOTS. He makes some of them, but many times his quick trigger hurts our team more than the stats show. Granger needs to be more selective, no matter what our coaching staff currently may think.
    A quickly clanged bomb by Granger kills us at crucial times I think. He seems to have no sense of the game situation, instead just randomly firing away thinking ANY shot he takes must be a GOOD shot. As much criticism as Murphy takes, Granger hurts us much more in shot selection I think. Danny needs to think the game more I feel. He needs to say to himself “Ok, we haven’t scored in 2 straight possessions, let’s really get a great shot here”, or “Hibbert hasn’t touched the ball in 5 straight trips, let me see if I can get it to him this time and play off him”, or “we’ve missed 20 foot jumpers on 5 straight trips, I need to pass up this jumper and take it to the rim”, or “my man is in foul trouble, I think I’ll take him inside and post him up”.
    Those are the thoughts and signs of progress I was hoping to see in Granger by now, but sadly I don’t see it enough. Granger can do anything he sets out to do as an offensive player I think, but he has morphed into this stand outside, shot chucking perimeter guy that I think is just a small percentage of what he can be.
    That has to change to make Granger a player who truly helps you win, instead of just a guy who puts up numbers on bad teams.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Granger has to make more of a commitment to the defensive end instead of becoming another guy who scores 25 and gives up close to that. Granger has all the tools to be a strong defender, but it simply is effort I think that prevents this from happening, along with admittedly a sometimes wacky defensive scheme and poor defenders around him as well.
    The bottom line though is this: defense isn’t IMPORTANT enough to Granger yet, so therefore as the de facto leader of this team it hasn’t been important enough to the team as a whole.
    Granger isn’t good enough to be a guy who scores major points and guards the best player on the opponent, I realize that. Only the uber stars can do that….the LBJ’s, Wade’s, or Kobe Bryant types of which Granger decidedly isn’t.
    But with the game on the line in the last 5 minutes, or win a guy is simply killing us in the middle of a game, I WANT TO SEE GRANGER MAN UP, take the responsibility of winning on his shoulders, and step up and guard the opponents best guy and shut him down. Even if he fails at it, I want to see him grow a sack and take on the challenge. Right now he shrinks into the background and hides defensively all throughout a game, and you simply cannot build a winning team if your best player does that on you.
    ————————————————————————————–
    The last thing I would definitely do is somewhat controversial, but I don’t care. After alot of thought about this team and it’s current roster and situation, I’d make the following roster/lineup decision:
    1. Start Hibbert 82 games
    2. Start Granger 82 games at the 4 position
    3. Bring Troy Murphy off the bench.
    For the purposes of this article, lets only look at what I think are the advantages to this in terms of using Granger better:
    -Gives him a quickness advantage offensively over almost every “4″ player in the league.
    -This quickness advantage should let him be able to beat more people more often off the dribble.
    -Forces us to have to use him in the paint more frequently offensively, which I want to do no matter who is guarding him.
    -Gives him a bigger and slower guy to match up with instead of a quicker and smaller player, normally keeping him closer to the goal to defensive rebound better, but to also hit the offensive glass more frequently.
    -Makes it easier to use him as a screener AND as a ballhandler in pick and roll plays, as he will be able to drive on bigger players, and be hard to close out on if we run “pick and pop” stuff.
    -Gives us 1 more ballhandler and post feeder on the floor to pressure the defense, and to give Hibbert more room to operate inside.
    -Lets us pressure the basketball more, and helps our overall defense by making us quicker and more athletic.
    -Forces us to use Granger in a smorgasboard of ways, which we need to do to get him out of the comfort zone he has fallen into.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I’m not saying play him as the second biggest guy on the floor 100% of the time, but I would start the game, start the second half, and end the game with him at that spot. I think the positives far out weigh the negatives with this way of thinking (though I admit there are negatives, and I don’t necessarily see it as a long term solution years down the road).
    ————————————————————————————–
    Lastly, I do believe in Bill Simmons view of the concept of “reps”, meaning that in sports experiencing things DOES MATTER. Where Granger is concerned, that means this: Granger I feel is closely becoming a player who is getting USED TO LOSING. That is a major concern for me. We need to get him used to winning, and have it become a central focus of his athletic life. Losing can be contagious no question, and he has never really won big at any level that I can recall.
    Granger needs playoff reps badly, and needs to finally grasp the concept of being the guy who is responsible for winning and losing. He needs to own our results, for better or worse. If that means sacrificing shots or points or playing time or playing a different position, then he needs to embrace that and make it happen.
    If he is ever going to become a leader, this is the time to do that. I have high hopes he makes the USA team this August, just so he can be around a winning culture for once, and hopefully he likes the taste of winning that leaves on his tongue. For a team and a franchise dying for a leader in the lockerroom and in the media, this is his time to either take the helm or forever forfeit the right I think. I think Granger wants to win, and I think he is a good citizen….but I don’t see the HUNGER, the DESPERATION, the FANATACISM, the SINGLE MINDEDNESS, that winning in a losing culture will take.
    I need to see Granger step up and become the winner we need him to be. It has to be his duty and his responsibility to wear the hat for this team, be willing to say and do and sacrifice whatever he needs to in order to create wins where he can….to not settle for being very good, but to do what he needs to to become better than that, and inspire others around him. He hasn’t done that yet, but a golden opportunity awaits him once again this season to make it happen.
    ————————————————————————————-
    As always, the above is just my opinion.
    Tbird
    Last edited by dlewyus; 08-07-2010 at 09:54 PM.
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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Thanks, dlewyus, for bringing this here! I have been forgetting to go to the front page recently.

    Excellent article as usual, T-Bird.

    I only disagree about consistently putting Granger at the 4 on a consistent basis. It would probably shorten his career to play there consistently due to injuries from being asked to absorb more contact with heavier and taller players when he does go inside as a back to the basket player, and he likely would end up being utilized as a Murphy style stretch 4 with more ability to drive to the basket as a result of that very issue. That would minimize his effectiveness at driving, which, as you repeatedly and with emphasis pointed out is exactly what is wrong with both his game and the overall offensive strategy Granger is forced to endure due to, as you eloquently put it, the intellectual laziness of the coaching staff (man, I LOVE that phrase...intellectual laziness!).

    Otherwise, brilliant as usual T-Bird!

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    T-Bird- Thanks for the interesting and insightful analysis. Danny does seem to be at a crossroads in his career, and even though he's been my favorite Pacer since the day we drafted him, I think he was the biggest underachiever on the team last year.

    I love the idea of Danny's primary position being at 4. I'm not sure we'd give up that much defensively, as teams seem to have more and more Bosh-types than Oakley-types. I seem to remember Danny's quickness matching up well with Bosh last year. We could always match up with Hansbrough if the other team has a banger and slide Danny to the 3.

    The ripple effects, aside from the fantastic idea of bringing Murphy off the bench, would include opening up time for DJones especially, and the rest of the strength of the team, wing depth.

    Thanks again for the insight!

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Nice article.

    He won't play 60 games if he's used mostly at the 4. I'd guess is would shorten his prime by 2 years and his career by 4. Great Idea situationally or even a playoff series, but long term impacts are too big, imho.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Nice article.

    He won't play 60 games if he's used mostly at the 4. I'd guess is would shorten his prime by 2 years and his career by 4. Great Idea situationally or even a playoff series, but long term impacts are too big, imho.
    I agree with you 100% Speed.
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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    I think danny could play the 4 a lot in today's nba. You don't have the physical power forwards that you had in the past. It is a much more free flowing game now than it was a few years ago. So there would be a lot of teams that he could help us a lot at the 4. However, I wouldn't want him playing the 4 all the time.

    What this team needs more than a power forward or point guard is a true commitment to playing defense and rebounding. Danny should be the leader in doing those two things and until that happens we just won't be very good.

    When Larry Bird played in college and the NBA, he would do what the team needed in that game to win. Rebounding defending or scoring whatever it took, that's what danny needs to do.
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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    I love the analysis Tbird... As always.

    The thing that will help Granger understand the necessary leadership he needs is that he is playing for USA basketball. Expectations in that program, just walking through the doors, are the highest in the entire game of basketball. That is the apex of individual awards... to be asked to participate on a team of the greatest players on the planet. I think we will see a different Danny Granger coming back from the experience. You know our entire locker room will give him the attentiveness necessary to get a simple message to them, "Expect yourself to play better team basketball". Danny Granger should come back a much better defender than he left. I watched closely the USA team's inter-squad scrimmage in NYC. Granger looked like he belonged. He also looked like his attention to defense was much improved. I saw focus. Something I think he lacked throughout the season, and it showed when the entire team displayed this attribute.

    Danny is a very good player. He is tall and long. He is athletic and smart. There are so many good qualities he possesses that make him versatile enough to temporarily move to the "4". I think it would make him a more complete player like you said. He has a pretty turn around jumper when he uses it. I think one thing that does hurt Granger is that he is asked to stay clear of the lanes in the high post offense and to move into the area just cut through as an easy way to get our best player the ball. We want the ball in his hands and I think that plays into his forcing of shots. Would we rather have 30 inefficient shots from our best player or get 15 good shots in the flow of offense. I think we need him to take 15 and then in certain situations and close games he ends up with 25 (and 40 points). Granger needs to become more well rounded. I think he has done an excellent job up to this point in his career with his off-season work. He gotter stronger after year one. He toughened up defensively as well. He worked his way to minutes because he could play defense. He adjusted to taking more three pointers by becoming a better shooter. He really made a commitment to going to the hole. He became proficient two years ago adding these two areas offensively. He kind of over-looked the defensive end a bit because of how much we relied on him for scoring with injuries not helping matters.

    Danny at the four would continue to make his game evolve. He would do wonders watching old film of Jordan playing the post. He would do wonders emulating Kobe in the modern game. He has size like Carmelo and can take advantage of smaller SF's and PF's from a quickness standpoint. He would create a lot of matchup problems for the other teams and we would actually improve offensively. Many teams avoid a move like this because their defense would decline significantly. With Troy Murphy at the four, our defense would improve. Troy is a very efficient player who is terrible at defense. That SCREAMS second unit to me. TJ, Dun, DJones, Murphy, and Foster/McRoberts as a second team makes a heck of a lot of sense (but is a different thread altogether). Granger would give us MUCH better helpside defense for Hibbert. Granger is an excellent helpside defender. He needs to do A LOT more this upcoming season. When he is guarding opposing two's and three's he stays toward the perimeter. This disallows him opportunities to play great helpside defense. His defense must be better next year. Guarding fours won't hurt us. Just don't get him overly beaten up.

    Overall, leadership is the biggest single factor I want him to improve upon this off-season, with a close second going to his team defense. I think Granger will continue to get better. We need to move away from the "old" lineup and moving Granger forces the bigs we have to work harder (and get traded). I like it only for use as our "primary" lineup. The one that starts first and third quarters and ending the game much like you siad. We have a lot of front line depth so it won't hurt our overall size too much for the majority of the game. Our switch-up would be to go bigger, not smaller, which is a plus. Most of our talent is on the wings. We need to understand that and adapt. Please. Get our best talent on the floor. Not our most veteran. Veterans become bench players eventually. This is our turnaround year in so many ways. It might be the least fun to look forward to. Not much hype. Not much exposure. But a hell of a lot of hard work, and a change in culture we have been building for should get us over the hurdle from "only hope" to "fulfilling the hope".

    Let's Go Pacers!!! This team is yours Danny if you really want it.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Just brilliant! There are a bunch of outstanding points in that post.

    It's nice to see someone thinking outside the box in a way that will lead to more wins. I've always believed that Danny's skills could be best utilized at the 4. He is 6'9" you know...and has the capability of being a good shot blocker. IMO, he could be groomed to be an outstanding rebounder as well. If we face a bigger, stronger team, put Foster, Hans or McBob in there to contend with the muscle. If we got a stud for the 4 position at some point, we'd have to move him down to 3...but until that happens I think he should be the PF.

    The biggest benefit for now is that it would relieve the log jam at SF and allow ample time for young players to develop...which will be critical for the Granger era considering he is moving into his prime now. Lance, Paul, MDJ, DJones and Rush should be able to split minutes at the wing...while Granger is on the floor. I truly believe that would make us a much better team. Another benefit here is that we would get to keep Lance, Paul and Rush if they all pan out relatively well.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    First off, great writeup by t-bird, as usual.

    I love the idea of moving Danny to the four. And we don't have to leave him there the rest of his career, so I don't understand all the concern over it shortening his career. Some players can take contact better than others. There is no telling whether his body could handle it or not.

    Plus, last year Obie moved Danny to the 4 against the Raptors and he really got after Bosh defensively. And Bosh is a very tough cover. Just the improved athleticism on the floor for us by replacing Murphy with Granger is a huge plus for us, especially playing this style. You think Murphy causes a defense problems at the four spot? Well Danny could be that and then some. He's much tougher defensively and even more potent outside the arc. Murphy can only shoot them from the top of the key it seems at times anyways.

    I say slide him to the four and take him out of his comfort zone a little. Force him to evolve. Danny has turned into a pretty one dimensional offensive player over time and this could be a way to shake him up a little bit.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Will Danny's body be able to handle this if he defends 4's for 18mpg? He's always had some knee trouble, and the past couple of years, he's found new ways to get hurt.....

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Quote Originally Posted by Taterhead View Post
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    First off, great writeup by t-bird, as usual.

    I love the idea of moving Danny to the four. And we don't have to leave him there the rest of his career, so I don't understand all the concern over it shortening his career. Some players can take contact better than others. There is no telling whether his body could handle it or not.

    Plus, last year Obie moved Danny to the 4 against the Raptors and he really got after Bosh defensively. And Bosh is a very tough cover. Just the improved athleticism on the floor for us by replacing Murphy with Granger is a huge plus for us, especially playing this style. You think Murphy causes a defense problems at the four spot? Well Danny could be that and then some. He's much tougher defensively and even more potent outside the arc. Murphy can only shoot them from the top of the key it seems at times anyways.

    I say slide him to the four and take him out of his comfort zone a little. Force him to evolve. Danny has turned into a pretty one dimensional offensive player over time and this could be a way to shake him up a little bit.

    This is what sparks a big part of my concern, guarding Bosh that stint was very effective, it also completely drained him, imo. He looked cashed out after battling Bosh in the 4th. I remember isolating on him in that game and it really seemed to take it's toll, imo.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    I see starting Danny at the 4 resulting in the exact same thing that resulted with starting JO at the 5, a plethora of injury problems, and an early end to the prime of his career. PASS, PASS, PASS.

    It generated huge numbers early on in the experiment for JO, but it became clear soon that his body could not take the pounding at the defensive end.

    I would play Danny at the 4 for tops 8-10 MPG. Anymore than that, and I think you are taking a huge risk.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Maybe you could get away with starting Danny at the 4, keeping him there about 5-6 minutes, then subbing another 4 in or subbing him out, rotate him as a 3 the rest of the way unless there's an obvious reason not to, then perhaps put him back at the 4 the last 5-6 minutes of the game, so he only sees about 10-12 min. at the 4.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    There seems to be some kind of accepted assumption that putting a 3 at the 4 position naturally leads to more injuries. I'm not sure I can just accept this.

    I'm not saying it's for sure wrong, I'm more asking, is this a fair assumption? Do we have some kind of historical precedent to believe this?

    There's quite a few players Danny's size or so who play 4 without being especially injury prone, I know that for sure.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Quote Originally Posted by Dece View Post
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    There seems to be some kind of accepted assumption that putting a 3 at the 4 position naturally leads to more injuries. I'm not sure I can just accept this.

    I'm not saying it's for sure wrong, I'm more asking, is this a fair assumption? Do we have some kind of historical precedent to believe this?

    There's quite a few players Danny's size or so who play 4 without being especially injury prone, I know that for sure.

    I wouldn't want him playing minutes at the 4 against Hansbrough in practice, for the same fears. Ya, he'd kill Tyler for awhile but then it could be trouble. I mean is he going to grind with Jokim Noah and Verajao for 30 mins a game? It's as much of the Spaz's of the league I'm concerned about at the Bosh's. I mean Spaz respectfully in this usage, btw.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    I really think the Danny @ 4 = injuries argument is a bit bogus. I was working on a post where I listed every starting 4 in the NBA along with their heights and weights, but my laptop died. I don't feel like making the list again, but I can tell you that Danny's within 10 lbs of about 65% of PF's. Sure there are times when he's going to be at a deficit, but it's the coaches job to weigh the mismatch and see if it's to our advantage. Guys like Boozer and Brand are going to beat up on Danny in the post, but can either of them guard them on the perimeter.

    Side note on Carlos Boozer: I stood next to he and Deron Williams in the SLC airport. I would guess that Boozer is, at most, 3 inches taller than Williams. He's not nearly 6'9" like he's listed.

    For those of you who want to use the JO @ 5 precedent, switching from 4 to 5 is much different than switching from 3 to 4. There is a huge difference between Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard. There is a negligible difference between Pietrus and Lewis. There's a big difference between Josh Smith and Al Horford. There's not a big difference between Marvin Williams and Josh Smith.
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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    I agree with the other posters on this forum who realize that Danny wouldn't last the season if he played the 4 spot for the entire 82 game season. It'll be like Jermaine O'Neal when he played as Center and the Pistons (Sheed and Big Ben Wallace) taking turns beating him down until he finally broke. The Pacers ruined JO's career by never finding and signing a real Center to allow JO to play his natural position at the PF spot.

    What Danny really needs is to be surrounded by a good athletic team (like other NBA stars) instead of unathletic slow-twitch stumps with one dimensional games, i.e. Murph, Dun-Dun, Foster, Solo, and, to some extent, Dahntay and Earl Watson (if they bring Earl back)!!!! Additionally, while we're ALL hoping that Hans is a key player off the bench at PF this year, we' still desperately need a real beefy athletic PF that can matchup with the other beastly PFs in the league. Hans, with a history of concussions, may not even make it through December after the big PF's in the league beat on him (a.k.a hard fouls) game-in and game-out.

    Alas, LB has finally hit pay dirt in this year's draft by acquiring Lance, George, and Rolle. With several expiring contracts, the Pacers are FINALLY in a position to 'positively effect' this ailing franchise for years to come with a few smart decisions. If they can DRAFT or TRADE for an athletic 6'10" or taller PF and a young (up & coming) PG, we're gonna be in the mix in the Eastern Conference for a long time to come.

    Finally, the Celtics, Spurs, Cleveland, Suns, and even Dallas are on an athletic down-slide unless they can sign NBA stars currently on the roster of small market teams. In the West, the Lakers, Thunder, & Nuggets should be the principal contenders with maybe Portland and Utah in the playoff mix. In the East, the Heat and Magic will be the favorites but the Pacers and Hawks and others Eastern Conference teams may sneak up on them in a few short years as our young players gain experience and start to emerge on the NBA grand stage.

    But, it's up to LB and Morway to keep the athletic talent coming and then we'll see if Danny can take this team to the next level or not.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Granger can physically handle the position against most PF's.

    This is pretty easy. Just swap in some beef (i.e. Foster, McBob, Hans) as needed when a larger PF is on the court. I would never have Granger bang with the 250lb crowd for very long at all. That would take its toll. Guarding Rashard Lewis or even Kevin Garnett will not be a problem for Danny...at least from a pounding standpoint.

    So, I would not expect Danny to be injured any more than if he played another position. That said, I think shifting him to the 4 improves our team defense tremendously.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    The main problem I have with Danny at the 4 is that he goes from an average rebounder at the 3 position to a below average rebounder at the 4. This becomes problematic when you also have a below average rebounder at the 5.
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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Jermaine started having injury problems when he bulked up to over 260 lbs. I don't think it had anything to do with playing C vs. PF. His knees just couldn't take the extra weight.

    Like people have said, it's not a line-up you set in stone. You can make adjustments if you are facing a physical 4 that would cause Danny problems. Thats what Tyler is for, hopefully.

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    Default Re: T-bird post: Coach ‘em up, summer of 2010: Danny Granger

    Quote Originally Posted by mellifluous View Post
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    Side note on Carlos Boozer: I stood next to he and Deron Williams in the SLC airport. I would guess that Boozer is, at most, 3 inches taller than Williams. He's not nearly 6'9" like he's listed.
    I was just in town (Indy) over the weekend and watched good ol' Rik Smits get up and saunter out of the restaurant (Capri). Now THAT'S BIG!

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