First of all, it’s obvious that Danny Granger was under performing this season. Playing at the shadow of the emerging megastar Paul George and after he experienced a bunch of injuries, Granger was not the player he once used to be this season. The Indiana Pacers were no longer his team. The former All-Star played in 29 games this season and started in just a couple of them. He averaged 8.3 points per contest go to along with 3.6 rebounds and he shot a ugly rates, 35.9 percent from the floor and 33.0 percent from downtown. However, he has the potential to bounce back and uplift his performance.Granger seems to be a perfect fit in the Clips’ playoff puzzle. If he is acquired by the team, he will most probably be assigned with the starting small forward role. Granger has the size and the athletic skills to be a great perimeter threat, which can also drive to the basket. Of course, he is not as explosive as he once was, but after all, the Clippers don’t need him to be that type of a player.
Thankfully, the Clips have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, who will continue to take the biggest chunk of the offensive load on their shoulders. So where Granger is needed is to spot up and hit some open shots, especially from beyond the arc. In general, Granger will be a big upgrade in the Clippers wing. That’s because Doc Rivers is currently using Matt Barnes at the starting small forward role. Although Barnes is a serviceable forward, he is not a big scoring threat, especially from downtown. His fellow small forward, Jarred Dudley, who was acquired during the past summer has been struggling to find consistency all season long. In fact, he was demoted to a reserve, after starting for the Clippers earlier in the season.
In conclusion, we can fairly say that Danny Granger is certainly a missing piece for the Los Angeles Clippers. He might not be the player who will take the team by the hand and lead it to the championship. However, after the addition of Glen Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers have the opportunity to add yet another piece in their puzzle. Granger is the best player available out there at the moment and the Clips shouldn’t let this opportunity slip off their hands. Granger will be an essential player come playoff time for Doc Rivers.
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NBA All-Star Weekend 2012 officially kicks off Friday in Orlando. Here’s a schedule of all the top-tier All-Star Weekend events.
Usually known as the Rookie/Sophomore Game, the 2012 edition of the Rising Stars Challenge is different because TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley selected the rosters from a pool of the top first- and second-year players. Reigning Rookie of the Year winner Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin headline Team Shaq. Top overall draft choice Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers and versatile big-man DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings anchor Team Chuck.
All-Star Saturday Night opens with the Haier Shooting Stars, which pits the defending champion Team Atlanta against Team Orlando, Team New York, and Team Texas.
The next event is the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, in which six of the league’s top point guards battle to complete an obstacle course that tests their dribbling, passing, and shooting ability. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, the defending champion, will take on Irving, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets.
The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest follows the Skills Challenge in which Magic forward Ryan Anderson will challenge the defending champion James Jones of the Miami Heat. Other competitors include Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat, Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Anthony Morrow of the New Jersey Nets. Durant replaces Atlanta Hawks swingman Joe Johnson, who will sit out the contest due to injury.
The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest concludes All-Star Saturday Night. This year’s dunk showdown features four players who have never before competed; it’s all fresh faces. In addition, the dunk contest will debut a new, one-round format in which each competitor has the opportunity to execute three dunks. The field is Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, and Derrick Williams of Minnesota. Evans replaces Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert, who had to bow out of the competition due to injury.
The main event of the weekend finally tips Sunday evening. Magic center Dwight Howard, the leading vote-getter among all players, will start for the East, while Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will tie a record for consecutive All-Star appearances with 14.
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