Danny Granger’s effective throwback game

Former NBA player Eddie Johnson wrote a nice piece for HoopsHype about how Danny Granger uses “Old Man Moves” to score easily and efficiently.

Granger is a very good athlete, but someone has gotten in his ear and convinced Granger that playing below the rim will give him a tremendous advantage and save wear and tear on his body while still putting up huge numbers. I watched him a few weeks ago against the Suns and marveled at how he easily scored using a method we called back in the day Old Man Moves.

(Definition: Old Man Moves means a player who is mentally tough and has a smorgasbord of shots that keeps the defense wondering and off balance. He plays below the rim. He takes what the defense gives him. He plays with a level head. He does not waste energy with his dribble. He uses his teammates to get open. He uses a variety of shots to score. He takes big shots and makes them in the fourth quarter. He gets to the free throw line to maintain consistent confidence and he comes to score every night and is relentless).

Granger would drive to the basket and when Shaq and Amare Stoudemire went high in the air to challenge him, he in turn went economical and went low for easy non-spectacular shots. Most players in today’s NBA think poster or mano-a-mano, which is fine if you are LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Amare or Vince Carter. These players can elevate higher than everyone, but Granger somehow realizes his percentage of winning that battle is not in his favor. So he pulls up for the basic 12-foot shot or he shoots a running hook or maybe he uses his off hand. And I have also seen him execute the up and under – very much Old Man Moves.

I am intimately familiar with Old Man Moves, but not by choice. I had decent leaping ability in high school and could dunk with (relative) ease, but after a couple of knee scopes in college and playing on maybe the most unforgiving court in the country at UW-Platteville, I was definitely a below-the-rim kind of a player. (I swear they just laid the wood right on top of concrete. The floor had absolutely no give at all, which made it difficult to elevate.)

But back to Granger, who has increased his scoring by an average of 6.1 points per game in each of his four seasons in the NBA. He was amongst my original picks for the All-Star Game, and I think he’s an easy choice. The Pacers may be 18-28, but their points scored/points allowed differential is only -2.4, so they have been competitive. Granger is 4th in the league in scoring (25.8) and he is 9th in the league in three-point percentage (39.9%) amongst players that take more than five treys per game.

The bottom line is that the Pacers don’t have a lot of firepower, so opponents know that Granger is their main threat. And they still can’t stop him.

Let’s hope the coaches recognize this and put this guy on the All-Star team.

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