About a week ago, I wrote a quick feature on the Indiana Pacers’ reserve forward Danny Granger and that he needs to hit his stride soon. I mentioned it was important for Granger to be playing well later in the season as the Pacers gear up for the playoffs after the All-Star break.
From watching recent games, it looks as though Granger is doing just that. Although he is still averaging just below nine points a game, Granger is getting better looks from the field that are in rhythm and in the flow of the offense.
Granted many of Danny Granger’s open looks come via pass from Lance Stephenson. Nevertheless, Indiana head coach Frank Vogel and his players couldn’t be more pleased with open shots from Granger.
As a matter of fact, Vogel inserts Stephenson into the game with the second unit so that he can shake off defenders and free up his teammates for open opportunities around the basket or on the perimeter. Thus, the same goes for Luis Scola and C.J. Watson, both whom have also started seeing their shots go in recently.
This kind of production from Granger, and the rest of the reserves, is exactly what Vogel wants to see. Little to no drop-off – better yet, sometimes even better production – from the starters to the second unit.
Granger has been the epitome of this vision, while Stephenson has been the distributor, creator and centerpiece of it all.
Granger has typically been viewed best as a spot-up jump-shot artist, which is every bit accurate. While Danny possesses the ability to get to the basket, finish at the rim and draw fouls, there is no argument that his shooting stroke is phenomenal. That shooting stroke is something his teammates cherish and love to watch result in baskets.
Over the past couple games, Danny Granger has scored 8, 16 and 8 points, respectively. Although his field goal percentage has not risen much, the looks at the basket are more open and more in rhythm. Granger has only missed two free throws all season, having gotten to the charity stripe fourteen times already through three February games.
That is due to him being more aggressive, and Granger is now shooting about 95% from the free throw line. He has also increased his scoring average each month since his return, from 7.4 in December to 8.5 in January and now 10.7 in February, according to ESPN.com.
This is the production the Pacers very much appreciate out of Danny Granger.