The Evolution of Danny Granger
作者 k960674 (Kaul)
標題 [外電] The Evolution of Danny Granger
時間 Thu Jan 23 20:31:07 2014
Danny Granger: From “The Gift” to “The Blowout Machine”
For years, Danny Granger was the solitary ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary Pacer landscape. Christened “The Gift” after falling to Larry Bird’ s waiting arms at the 17th pick in the 2005 Draft, Granger was the talent and personality upon which the beleaguered franchise and fan base rested their hopes for salvation.
已經有好多年了，Danny Granger是那悲慘的溜馬隊中僅存的一絲曙光。在2005年第17順被被選中後，被冠以「恩賜」之名的Granger是溜馬那令人煩惱的陣容與球迷們所寄託希 望的救贖所在。
And hoping for “salvation” isn’t hyperbole.
Years of bad players and bad basketball followed years of bad actors — Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley — creating a situation where apathy was welcome relief from outright hatred and contempt. When Larry Bird traded away Jermaine O’Neal and announced his three-year plan to revive the Pacers, Danny Granger was to be at the center of the rebirth.
年復一年由差勁的球員打出差勁的比賽這種爛戲碼——由Ron Artest、Stephen Jackson 、Jamaal Tinsley這些人主演，製造了一個由徹頭徹尾的厭惡與輕蔑所衍生出來，所有人 都冷眼旁觀的處境。當Larry Bird交易掉Jermaine O'Neal並宣布他的三年重建溜馬計劃時，Danny Granger是整個重生的核心。
Six years later, the rebirth has generated greater results than this writer’ s wildest hopes. After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Pacers have bolted to the best record in the NBA at 32-7. Indiana has won two thirds of their regular season games since the lockout — a mark exceeded by only Miami (.750), San Antonio (.739), and Oklahoma City (.729). If the Pacers haven’t become the best team in the Association, then you wouldn’t need all the fingers on one hand to count the ones better.
六年後，重建有了比不才在下的預料中更好的成果。在上季殺進東區冠軍戰後，溜馬現在 擁有全聯盟最好的32勝7敗的成績。在封館之後，溜馬贏得了三分之二的比賽——僅落後 給熱火（75%）、馬刺（73.9%）和雷霆（72.9%）。即使溜馬沒有成為本季全聯盟最好的球隊，你也不需要一隻手的所有手指來數那些表現比溜馬優秀的隊伍。
But Danny Granger’s role in the trip hasn’t been as many of us had expected — or as Danny himself probably hoped.
After a rocky start, Granger played arguably as well as he ever had over the second half of the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season. He was the leading scorer on a team that earned the third seed in the East. That team got up 2-1 to Miami, before succumbing to the superior Heat in the second round. From there, it took a sour turn for Granger.
In the preseason entering his eighth year, the University of New Mexico product felt the pain in his knee worsen, culminating in him departing a preseason game in Chicago. Days later, the Pacers announced that Granger had undergone treatment for tendinosis and would miss at least three months.
At first, the Pacers missed their star badly, limping to a 3-6 start against what was considered a relatively light schedule. Concerns deepened when Roy Hibbert and Paul George struggled to deal with the heightened expectations placed on them in Danny’s absence. Only the stalwart defense and step-up efforts from David West and George Hill allowed the Pacers to stay close to .500 during the opening weeks of the 2012-13 season.
最初，溜馬擺脫不了Granger缺席的陰霾，在被認為較為輕鬆的賽程中只拿下了3勝6敗。主要是由於Roy Hibbert與Paul George在Danny缺席後背負著相當高期待的兩人打得十分 掙扎。多虧了堅強的防守與David West和George Hill跳出來才讓溜馬在2012-13賽季最初 的幾周勝率逼近五成。
However, things began to turn in December. Paul George finally found a comfort zone, catapulting himself from a player in over his head to All-Star and Most Improved Player. The defense became historically dominant, Hibbert settled into his role, and the Pacers took the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
然而，事情在12月開始有了轉機。Paul George終於找到了打球的方式，讓自己從一個球員一躍而升成球星，並且拿下了最佳進步獎。而防守也進化成史詩般的等級，Hibbert充 分扮演好自己的角色，而溜馬在東區冠軍戰將熱火逼入第七戰。
Many came to believe Danny’s absence had been a blessing, allowing Paul George to blossom the way he did. There’s a strong case for that; a healthy Granger may have changed PG’s trajectory or, alternately, relieved some of the pressure that forced the Pacer defense to become the diamond that it is. However, that doesn’t give proper due to who Paul George and the other men — coaches and players — in that locker room are. But if it wasn’t a blessing, at least it showed that the Pacers didn’t miss Granger.
很多人開始相信Danny的缺席是神之祝福，讓Paul George進化成現在的樣子。舉個例子： 一個健康的Granger可能會改變PG的成長方向，或者也可能減輕溜馬的進攻壓力讓防守變 得像鑽石般堅硬。然而這說法並不適當——考量到Paul George以及他的教練及隊友們在 休息室中的表現。但如果這不能算是個祝福，最起碼證明了溜馬並不想念Granger。
Except, they did.
The players missed Danny, even if it didn’t show in the results. Danny Granger — whether in uniform or not — has remained a part of this Pacer culture. “[Granger] has been with the team dealing with his injury,” said David West at last year’s trading deadline. “He’s been around us. It’s not like we’ve forgotten how he plays. He been around. He’s been in the locker room. He’s been on the road with us.”
球員們很想念Danny，儘管從結果中看不出來。Danny Granger，不管是否穿著球衣，都依然是整個溜馬文化的一部分。「Granger在處理傷勢的期間一直跟隨著球隊，」David West在去年的交易截止日前這樣說著。「他一直在我們左右。我們並沒有忘記他打球的方 式。他和我們形影不離。休息室裡看得到他，客場之旅時也陪在我們身旁。」
Those comments were a part of an exploration of how Granger could be seamlessly integrated into a winning situation, one we attributed to chemistry and a common goal. Throughout the discussion, the voice of West — the team’s unquestioned leader — could be heard clearly.
“What we’re going to be with Danny is better than what we are now.” That is how West concluded the discussion.
Less than a year later, West started a different discussion with these words: “Danny’s the blowout machine, man.”
This discussion came after Saturday night’s 106-92 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. It was the Pacers’ 20th double-digit win. For context on how impressive this is: 20 NBA teams have managed 20 or fewer victories this season. Danny Granger returned 14 games ago, and 10 of those double-digit wins have come in those 14 games.
“He’s just strengthening absolutely what we have,” said West, “and added another dimension to this team that opposing teams have to deal with.”
The Clippers certainly had trouble dealing with it on Saturday. In Danny’s 26 minutes last night, the Pacers were +16. That brings the total number of points that Indiana has outscored their foes to 108 in 324 Danny-filled minutes. That equates to a 16-point advantage over a 48 minute game.
Of course, it’s not all Danny. The Pacers’ bench had improved over last year ’s, with the addition of Luis Scola and C.J. Watson, even before Granger’s return. Indiana was posting a net efficiency (points by which they outscore their opponent per 100 possessions) of +6.5 with those two players on the floor. However, Danny’s impact on the bench is startling. In the 164 minutes that coach Frank Vogel has been able to put Granger, Scola, and Watson on the floor together, the Pacer offense has scored 106.5 points per 100 possessions, while the Pacer defense allowed only 86.2 per hundred.
當然，這並不Danny一個人帶來的成果。溜馬的板凳在添加了Luis Scola與C.J. Watson後 ，即使Granger尚未回歸，也比去年要來的進步。溜馬的效率值（平均每100次球權中多得 的分數）在這兩位球員上場時是+6.5。不過，Danny帶來的效應令人驚訝。在Frank Vogel 把Granger、Scola和Watson同時放上場的164分鐘內，溜馬在進攻端平均每100次進攻機會可以得到106.5分，而只讓對手拿下86.2分。
The Pacers’ starting unit — “The Five” — remains one of the best units in the league. But, for the last two years, production and efficiency has dropped precipitously as Vogel sat more of them down. Even this year, the Pacers have been hurt when they have two or fewer starters on the floor. This has happened for about one-third of the minutes this season, and the Blue-and-Gold have eked out a net efficiency of +2.2 (94.7 on offense vs. 92.5 on D).
而溜馬的先發「黃金五人」仍然是全聯盟最好的組合。然而在過去兩年，當Vogel讓其中多數球員休息時，輸出與效率變得非常低落。即使是今年，溜馬在讓其中三人以上休息時 狀況也很慘。這大概占了本季三分之一左右的時間，而溜馬的效率值僅有+2.2（進攻端 94.7，防守端92.5）。
But breaking that down to “without Danny” and “with Danny” tells a dramatic story. Take Danny out of the equation and these units are scoring a paltry 89 per hundred, while giving up almost 96. Put him on the floor, and the offense skyrockets to more than 105, while the defense constricts to allow fewer than 87 points for every 100 possessions.
To some degree, this was to be expected. Danny Granger had been replaced with a patchwork collection of wings consisting of Gerald Green, Sam Young, Solomon Hill, and Orlando Johnson. Even an impaired Granger would be an upgrade to that assembly. But his presence against second units is almost unfair, and it’s coming in ways that are more subtle and different than people expected.
在某種程度上這是可預期的。Danny Granger的替補是由東拼西湊的側翼組成：Gerald Green、Sam Young、Solomon Hill和Orlando Johnson。即使是受傷的Granger也可能打得 比上述的組合要來得好。但是他和其他隊伍的替補放對是很不公平的，而且他的使用方式 比很多人所預期的都還要來得不可思議。
Against the Clippers, it came when David West was ejected at halftime for elbowing Blake Griffin. Frank Vogel had a capable reserve in Luis Scola, but at 33 years old, he could not be expected to play the entire second half. When Scola picked up his fourth foul with 5 minutes left in the third, Vogel called on Granger. It wasn’t something that surprised David West.
在對上快艇的時候，這狀況發生在David West中場因肘擊Blake Griffin被判出場的時候 。Frank Vogel有個稱職的替補Luis Scola，但是以他33歲的年紀很難期待他能打滿整個下半場。當Scola在第三節剩5分鐘的時候4犯時，Vogel叫了Granger。David West對此並 不感到訝異。
“He’s got unbelievable size and strength,” said West. “There are only a few guys that play the small forward position that have that combination. Carmelo’s one. LeBron’s one. Danny’s one of those guys. Danny’s 240 pounds, but he can play the perimeter, knock down threes. On most nights, he can probably match up with most fours — in terms of being able to hold his ground and force them to score through him.”
「他有著令人難以置信的體型與力量。」West表示。「只有少數幾個打小前鋒位置的人有 這樣的能力。Carmelo是一個。LeBron是一個。而Danny也是其中之一。Danny有著240磅的身材，但是他可以在外圍遊走，投進三分球。在多數時候，他可以應付大部分的四號對手 ——有辦法限制住他們並讓他們無法輕鬆出手。」
This wasn’t most nights. Granger was being asked to guard one of the most dynamic power forwards in the game. Blake Griffin is a handful for anyone. Griffin was enjoying some success backing Scola down, but the first time he tried Granger, Danny did not budge. Griffin leaned and bumped but made no headway, eventually kicking the ball back out in what turned out to be an empty Clipper possession. Over the final 9 minutes Griffin played while being guarded primarily by Granger (and briefly by Ian Mahinmi), he managed only 4 points on 1-for-3 shooting, with just one rebound and one assist.
這次狀況並不屬於大多數的時候。Granger在比賽中被要求去防守最具威力的大前鋒之一 。Blake Griffin對任何人來說都是個麻煩的存在。Griffin享受著背框吃掉Scola的感覺 ，但當他第一次對Granger故技重施時，Danny絲毫不退讓。Griffin屈身向前頂但沒有進展，最終把球踢出界，快艇這波進攻失敗作收。在最後9分鐘當Griffin在場上並主要由 Granger防守的時候（一部分由Ian Mahinmi防守），他只有3投1中4分的成績，外加1籃板和1助攻。
Frank Vogel made a point of it during his opening comments after the game. “ I was proud of Danny Granger for coming in and playing extended minutes and playing some at the power forward, which he hadn’t played in a couple years, really,” Vogel said. “He really battled Blake Griffin, and gave us some critical, critical minutes in a tough match up.”
Frank Vogel在賽後訪談的開始特別提到了這點。「我對於Danny Granger獲得更多的時間 並且負責大前鋒的位置感到驕傲，他真的已經好幾年沒打這個位置了。」Vogel表示。「 他和Blake Griffin做了對抗，並且在這個放對中支撐了一段非常重要的時間。」
Granger, himself, recognizes that the Pacers need him, but not necessarily the Danny Granger of yesteryear. “You put me in, I can play the four,” he said after the game. “That’s the type of thing that I bring. I just got so much experience, so they were waiting for me to come back, and I just wanted to come back and play.”
His desire to be a part of — a contributor to — what is happening with this franchise is palpable. “Coming off of not having played in a year-and-a-half, it was to the point where I was just happy to be a part of it,” Granger said. “Any contribution I can give, I’ll give. I’m constantly building my game to get back to where I was, but to be able to come in and help my team, and we win by 20 points almost every night is awesome.”
他對於成為這支球隊現況一部分，特別是貢獻的一部分的渴望是很顯而易見的。「從一年半沒有打球的狀況下出發，我對於能夠成為現在這樣的一部分感到很開心。」Granger表 示。「任何我能夠提供的貢獻，我都會去做。我正逐漸地找回我的步調，不過能夠上場並 且幫助球隊，然後幾乎每場比賽都能贏20分是件非常棒的事情。」
Now is as good a time as any to draw attention to the fact that — despite exercising my normal penchant for liberally peppering this post with numbers — I have not discussed a single individual statistic. I could, but they really are unimportant here. Just like with David West or George Hill, individual numbers distract from what is happening with this team.
現在是注意一個事實的好機會，雖然我的嗜好是在文章中增添些數據，我到現在為止並沒拿出任何數據來討論。我可以，但是那些東西並不重要。就好像David West或是George Hill的個人數據會讓目前這支球隊的現況失焦一樣。
Danny Granger has had the career arc of many very good, but not great, players. They enjoy the praise and adulation during their rise, then the expectations come. For many players, they reach the point where they are no longer judged on who or what they are, but on who or what they aren’t. For Danny, as with most of these players, that often misses the point. Granger’s teammates understand.
Danny Granger的生涯一直是個非常好，但並非頂級的球員之一。他們先是在崛起的過程中受到讚揚與奉承，而後對他們的期待逐一而至。對大多數的球員來說，他們到了一個「 不再被認為成為了哪個人，而被認為成不了哪個人」的處境。對Danny來說，他就好像這 些大多數的球員一般，焦點逐漸被模糊了。而Granger的隊友們都很了解。
“I think Danny’s been one of our best playmakers,” Paul George said when trying to explain how Danny helps. “He’s been willing to give the ball up and make plays when he’s had opportunities to be aggressive offensively.”
Granger, for his part, doesn’t miss being the volume scorer of years past. “ Yeah, I’ve put up a lot of numbers in the past, but it just killed me not to be able to win,” Granger said.
Granger heard the questions and concerns coming from outside of the organization, and it wore on him. He showed a rare flash of frustration after the Houston game, when asked about concerns that his return would hurt the team chemistry. However, he wasn’t alone in his contempt for that idea. David West has openly scoffed at that thought repeatedly over the last year, going so far as to actually laugh at a reporter who suggested that trading Danny would help Indiana. West, Frank Vogel, and Paul George all understood his value and believed in him. Danny is an intelligent young man with a better, more intimate understanding of this franchise’s evolution than any of us.
Granger聽到了外界的質疑與關注，而這很折磨他。他在與火箭的賽後被問到是否他的回 歸會破壞團隊效應時浮現了一絲失落。然而他並不是唯一蔑視這個問題的人。David West 去年公開對這種想法表示不屑很多次，甚至嘲笑了表示交易Danny對溜馬比較好的記者。 West、Frank Vogel以及Paul George都了解他的價值並且信任他。Danny是個聰明的年輕人，並且對於整個陣容的進化有著比我們每個人都要好的了解。
Danny felt that support. “They knew that I wouldn’t have a problem saying, ‘OK, Paul, here you go. Go do this thing,’” said Granger. When he mentioned George, he couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. He went on, “[George] is a crazy talent…like crazy…you know…like MVP-ish talent. He’s going to be MVP in one of the next three years, I promise you. We all saw that. We all see that. It’s like, ‘Paul, this is your show. Take us to where we gotta go. ’”
Danny也感受到了支持。「他們知道我對於說出『好了，Paul，是你發揮的時候了』之類 的話毫無問題。」Granger表示。當他提到George的時候，他沒辦法掩飾自己的興奮。他接著說：「George有著可怕的天賦……就好像，嗯，MVP等級的天賦。他將會在未來三年 內拿到MVP，我向你保證。我們過去都見證了，現在也是。這就好像『Paul，這是你的舞台。領導我們前進吧。』」
Frank Vogel has spent the better part of the last week praising the sacrifices David West has made — citing them as a big part of the Pacers’ gaudy record. Danny Granger seems willing — excited even — to make the same kind of sacrifices. Paul George, for one, doesn’t think people understand what Danny has done or meant for this season.
Frank Vogel在上周花了不少時間讚揚David West所做的犧牲，將溜馬亮麗的成績很大的一部分歸功於此。Danny Granger看起來很樂意，甚至是很興奮去做同樣的犧牲。Paul George是個不相信人們了解Danny的所作所為以及其意義的人的其中之一。
“I think him playing that way, and him having that commitment to just be a playmaker — a floor general — for us, it really just flows through our whole offense,” said George. “He has what our offense is all about, and that ’s playing for one another. I don’t think they’re really giving him credit where he deserves.”
「我認為他打球的方式，以及他對於僅做為一個策動戰術的人所做的妥協——一個發動機 ，對我們而言，這使得我們進攻更為流暢。」George表示。「他代表了我們的進攻模式— —人人為我，我為人人。我認為外界並沒有給予他應受的褒揚。」
But, judging by the light in Granger’s eyes after yet another Pacer victory, numbers and credit — like so many other things that used to seem so important — don’t really matter any more. What matters in that locker room is playing for one another. From that, the Pacers would tell you in one voice, all good things flow.
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