Player Analysis: Danny Granger
May 10, 2011
LOOKING BACK: Though statistically the 2010-11 season may have looked like a step back for Granger, the greater reality is that as the team shifted its offensive focus from the perimeter to the post, his game had to adapt. He led the team in scoring (20.5) for the third season in a row, though it marked a second consecutive season of decline from the career-high 25.8 in 2008-09. His field goal percentage (.425) was a career low. There's little doubt of his productivity to the team's success. In the 20 games when he scored fewer than 16 points, the Pacers were 2-18. And he continued to be one of the most deadly 3-point shooters in the league, ranking sixth with 157 made, his fifth consecutive season with at least 150. The only other player in franchise history with as many is Reggie Miller.
LOOKING AHEAD: Under Frank Vogel, Granger began to rely less on the 3-pointer and more on penetration and post-ups, a trend that could serve him well in the coming seasons. Granger's 3-point attempted dropped from 5.8 under Jim O'Brien to 4.5 under Vogel, while his free throw attempts increased from 5.5 to 6.4. As he approaches his 30s, Granger will benefit from further developing the skills necessary to get to the line more frequently a la Paul Pierce, a player Vogel believes is a solid example for Granger. A strong defensive player when he entered the league, Granger took strides toward regaining his commitment to that phase of the game under Vogel and has the ability to be one of the top perimeter defenders in the league. Continued improvement of his ballhandling skills will only make him that much more of a threat, offensively.
KEY STATS: Already second to Miller in franchise history in 3-pointers attempted and made, Granger is ahead of the Indiana legend's pace. Through six seasons, Miller was 714 of 1,860 from the 3-point line. Granger is 808 of 2,099. Their percentages are almost identical (Miller at .384, Granger at .385).
CONTRACT STATUS: Signed through the 2013-14 season.
OUTLOOK: As the Pacers continue their climb up the ladder in the Eastern Conference, Granger may have to make the biggest adjustments. Not only will young players like Roy Hibbert, Paul George, Darren Collison and Tyler Hansbrough grow into bigger roles on offense, it's more possible than ever that a prominent player or two could be acquired through trades or free agency. He has been the face of the franchise for several years and filled the role honorably but it's quite possible Granger will have to learn how to share that duty in the years to come.