Posts Tagged ‘Danny Granger’

Three For All: Indiana Pacers

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Indiana Pacers, who played three straight from Feb. 14-16.

The Pacers have played pretty well this season, showing great depth and benefiting from the offseason addition of David West. That is until recently, when they hit a bit of a rough patch and lost four of five coming into their three for all challenge. Could they turn things around in the season’s most grueling stretch?

Game 1: Heat 105, Pacers 90 - No excuses for this one, even with Danny Granger going down with an ankle injury near the end of the first quarter. The Heat were playing the last of their epic three play, so should have been ripe for the picking for a team that until last week had only lost one home game all season. -2 points

Game 2: Cavaliers 98, Pacers 87 - The Pacers’ depth is supposed to be one of their biggest strengths, but losing at Cleveland without Granger’s services would seem to hurt that argument a bit. Kyrie Irving returned from a concussion for the Cavs to score 22 points and lead them to the win, while Indy’s season-long losing streak reaches five games. -1 point

Game 3: Pacers 93, Nets 88 - Finally a W for Indiana, which got Granger back in the lineup and needed every one of his game-high 32 points to hold off the lowly Nets. First-time All-Star Roy Hibbert chipped in with 13 points and 11 boards. I’m putting the over/under on his All-Star minutes at 4:30, by the way. 5 points

Any win in Game 3 is worth celebrating, but this was a pretty disappointing effort for the Pacers all things considered. 2 points for Indy.

Up next: The Portland Trail Blazers also played three straight Feb. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Miami Heat

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Miami Heat, who played three straight from Feb. 12-14.

Back on January 12, the Chicago Bulls put up a three for all number I wasn’t sure would be beaten this season, as they attained the highest possible score they could with three victories by 10+ points. At the time, I said this:

The only way they can be topped from here on out is if a team plays two road games and wins all three by double figures, so, yeah, good luck beating Chicago.

Challenged extended? Challenge accepted by the Miami Heat, who took to the road for all three legs of their back-to-back-to-back.

Game 1: Heat 107, Hawks 87 - Once again we see the key to a good start in the three-play: play Atlanta get up early in Game 1 so you can save your strength. The Heat ran out to a 30-18 lead at the end of the first period, led by 22 at the half, and cruised the rest of the way. Dwyane Wade didn’t even play half the game — and still put up 21 points. 3 points (1 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Heat 114, Bucks 96 - Revenge! This one was a little personal for the Heat, who somehow managed to lose both prior games to the Bucks despite Milwaukee being under .500 and currently on the outside of the playoff chase. LeBron James made sure there was no sweep, dropping 35 and eight in another game that was pretty much over by the fourth quarter. 5 points (3 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 3: Heat 105, Pacers 90 - Indiana, what gives? Two nights rest for the Pacers going into this game (a rare sight in this condensed season), and although Danny Granger did exit this one early (a tough blow for Indy, which started its own three-play on this night), they were already down 16 at the time. LeBron drops 23-9-7, and Norris Cole continued an excellent rookie season with 20 off the bench. 7 points (5 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

So, yeah. You wanted to see what perfection looked like, this was perfection. Not only did the Heat play all three games on the road (only the Pistons had to play three road games for their triple, and they lost all of them for a season-worst -3 points), but they won all three by +10 and were so dominant I’m surprised they didn’t petition the league to go ahead and play again tonight. Seriously, check out Wade’s minutes and points totals from the three games:

– 23:56 and 21 against Atlanta
— 28:00 and 22 against Milwaukee
— 24:06 and 16 against Indiana

When you only need one of the five best players in the world for half a game and you win, you know you have things cooking. 15 total points for Miami, the highest possible amount possible available this season, and a sincere tip o’ the cap from All Ball on a job well done. 

Up next: The Utah Jazz also played three straight Feb. 12-14.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three for all: Philadelphia 76ers

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Philadelphia 76ers, who played three straight from Jan 9-11.

The Sixers have been playing some of the best ball in the NBA, and found themselves during their three-play challenge at the top of the Atlantic Division. Could they maintain during this brutal stretch? Let’s find out!

Game 1: Sixers 96, Pacers 86 - The Sixers catch a small break as Pacers All-Star Danny Granger was out with food poisoning (Coincidence? Or was he pushed?), though with the way Philly is playing, it might not have mattered. Andre Iguodala led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Sixers 112, Kings 85 - So far the Sixers depth is really developing into one of the stories of the NBA season, a big reason for their surprise success so far. Case in point against the Kings, as Evan Turner came off the bench for a near triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Elton Brand turned on the wayback machine and put up 21-10, but he’s a starter, so that’s outside of the narrative. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 3: Knicks 85, Sixers 79 - This is more what we assumed the third games of these things would be like, as the Knicks got out to a big lead early and the Sixers’ tired legs just didn’t have enough to chase them down, So goes Philly’s six-game win streak, and so goes their chance at perfection. 0 points

All in all a successful stint for the Sixers, who took care of business at home with two double-digit wins before losing a tough game (regardless of rest) at the Garden. 6 total points for Philly.

Up next: The Toronto Raptors also played three straight Jan. 9-11.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)

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Another NBA player shares his offseason activities

by Micah Hart

First it was Glen Davis, learning to knit and building arena replicas with popsicle sticks. Now Danny Granger is sharing how he spent his time during the lockout, and it’s equally silly:

I believe this is a takeoff of the Madden 2K12 commercials, only with fake Denis Leary taking over for Ben Affleck.

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Mike Dunleavy, how do you rate on the Robert Horry scale?

by Micah Hart

Almost two weeks between GWBBs in the NBA — Robert Horry was getting hungry. Fortunately Mike Dunleavy heeded Big Shot Bob’s call, tipping in Danny Granger‘s miss at the buzzer to give the Pacers a 94-93 win over the Hornets on Monday night.

We’ll see what Horry says about it in a sec, but I have to say right off the bat, I love this one. The ball hangs on the rim as if pausing to decide whose heart to break – it almost feels like the ball itself is self-aware, and is milking the attention for all it’s worth. Then it drops. Hornets deflated, Pacers elated.

What did the Horry scale think?

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

Let’s investigate:

Difficulty: Well, they don’t get much easier than this. Dunleavy inbounds the ball to Granger with 3.9 seconds left, then immediately dives to the hole for the offensive rebound, and the Hornets are gracious enough to grant him a clear path. Chris Paul may be the best PG in the league, but Dunleavy is his responsibility on this play and his failure to box him out cost New Orleans the game. Dunleavy is right at the rim as the ball bounces out, and he gives it just enough of a nudge to clear the rim and fall through.

Game Situation: The Pacers trailed by a point to the visiting Hornets, who took the lead on the previous play on a David West jumper.

Importance: It’s only a quarter of the way through the season, but the Pacers look like they are going to be in a dogfight for one of the final few spots in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Right now the Pacers sit in 7th, but you gotta think they want to try to get at least to 6th so as to avoid a first-round series with either Boston or Miami. Wins like this will end up making a difference.

Celebration: Outstanding. The whole team takes a victory lap around Conseco Fieldhouse before Granger tackles him to the ground in front of the Pacers’ bench.

Grade:

4 Horrys. I realize, looking back over how it fared in the individual catergories, that Dunleavy’s shot should grade out much lower, but this one has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. Its sum on the Horry scale is greater than its parts. The basketball itself is really the star of the show, dismissing Dunleavy and Granger to minor roles while it takes center stage. First the ball takes a complete 360-spin on Granger’s initial shot, then hangs like Tiger at Augusta after Dunleavy tips it. What can I say? Sometimes art can’t be quantified and rated. This one was unique and memorable, and at the end of the day, that’s worth a little something extra.

What do you think?

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Last night in a … question

by Micah Hart

Are the Pacers legit? Their record sits at only 8-7, but after last night’s shocking surprising 95-92 win over the Lakers in LA, I’m beginning to talk myself into it. Indy had a pretty good week, sandwiching a close loss in Oklahoma City between pummeling the Heat in Miami and last night’s win.

Almost every year there is a team that comes out of nowhere to make a run towards the top of their conference, and I’m starting to talk myself into the Pacers being said team. Top flight scorer? Check, Danny Granger. Top flight big man? Roy Hibbert had 24-12-6 last night against arguably the best pivotman in the league in Pau Gasol. Check. I already thought they stole Darren Collison from the Hornets to be their distributor. The rest of the roster is filled with guys who already know their roles and don’t try to do too much, which is more than many NBA franchises can say.

I’m not predicting an Eastern Finals appearance or anything, but if this team can stay healthy (a big problem in the past), I’m not sure homecourt advantage in a first-round playoff series is out of the question.

Am I crazy?

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