Danny Granger Stays After Practice to Shoot Free Throws

(photo via @MikeWellsNBA)

The Pacers didn’t score a single point in the final 4:05 of their game one loss to the Magic last night in Indianapolis. There were likely dozens of reasons that the offense sputtered, and it was less about process than it was the team’s inability to make shots. For instance, Paul George missed two good looks from three-point land and Darren Collison bricked a makable baseline jumper that was set up nicely by Danny Granger.

But there is no question that it was Granger’s inability to do anything productive that was the most glaring reason for the defeat. He missed two borderline-layups from inside 4 feet and also turned the ball over twice in embarrassing fashion (with a back-court violation and, with under 10 seconds left and his team down 3, a travel). The least forgivable blunder of all, however, was Granger missing two free throws with just over a minute left. This wasn’t Shaquille O’Neal or Dwight Howard coming up empty in a trip to the line; Indiana’s captain is a career 84.8% free-throw shooter and has been even better this season, knocking down 87.3% (254-for-291) of his attempts from the line.

Granger, who considers himself among the best shooters in the league, was likely more upset by his misses than even the most diehard of Pacers fans. So today, nearly an hour after practice, it was no shock to see Larry Hawley of Fox 59 and Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star report that Granger was the last one still out on the court. Practicing his free throws.

UPDATE: Wells just tweeted the following at 3:35 pm.

Granger said he took about 800-900 jump shots and free throws today

That’s more than usual, added Granger.


  • http://deleted Joe B

    Any speculative posts asking how Granger might have performed if he had not chosen to rest at the end of the season? I thought he should have still stayed in the rotation but logged 7-10 fewer minutes to keep or develop any kind of rhythm moving into the postseason

  • Jmac

    @ Joe B, I think he would have done better. Seems like pressure free throws would go down easier when in rhythm of playing.

    Danny is a fantastic player, and I appreciate his work ethic. But one of the best shooters in the league, he is not. At least, not anymore. He has nights where he is one of the best, but is largely inconsistent, thus the barely acceptable 41.6% regular season shooting percentage. He does play better in the late season and playoffs, though, and I think he is a very well-rounded player.

    Can’t blame him for the loss, but I was wondering too if those games off hurt his consistency.

  • Sam

    Maybe this first loss was good for them. Hopefully it removed the pressure and jitters and they can continue to play dominant Pacers Basketball from now on.

    We can still take the series in 5 games!

  • Jmac

    And I should add that I’m glad he’s on our team.

  • Malik

    This article should have used the attendance numbers to talk about how bad the crowd sucked last night. Why are you writing about basketball when you can spread rumors about Larry Bird’s future?

  • Zach Winningham

    Rhythm of playing at the end of the season had no effect after 47 minutes of a playoff game. He choked, he knows it more than we do, and he’ll either fix it or make it worse by trying to overcompensate for his blunders. Game 2 is a 100% must-win for the blue and gold. Every bit of pressure is on us, as Orlando already did what they came to Indy to do, get one game. They’re free rolling to a 2-0 lead and that would mean the series as well. No way in the world the Pacers could win 4 of 5 (three in Orlando). So basically, game 2 is our entire season and the team knows it and would never say it. Desperately need a quick start. Go Pacers!

  • NoLookPass

    My mind is blown by the amount of people wanting to bench Tyler in place of Fez on various Pacers boards.

  • Tom

    I really like danny, he’s stuck with us through some tough times in central indiana. but dear god if he wants to be a “leader” of an NBA contender he better sure as hell learn the rules of back court and traveling violations…

  • License 2 chill

    I like seeing him spend extra time in gym getting free throws up, love this team but game 1 we proved everyone right about what they think of the pacers and Danny Granger. I say our go to guy in the final mins. Is D west he’s been there and has made big shots for us in past, but looked a lot like last year in playoffs can’t finish. Love the way DC played in 4th defense wise G.Hill needs to start locking up so he can be in at the end of game. Go pacers!

  • Jesse

    I would have liked to see Paul George there too. As bad as Danny was, Paul was a liability on both ends–too scared to take his shot and not aggressive enough fighting through screens.

    Does someone have any backstory on why Granger does not ever run around screens? Is he really that averse to running? I know it sounds like Reggie nostalgia, but on an inbounds play don’t you need that to spring an opening?

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