Few things have been surprising so far in this 2008-2009 NBA campaign. The Celtics are good, the Thunder are (is? I hate teams with nicknames that don’t end in an “S”) bad, LeBron is dominating, Larry Hughes isn’t (what do you expect from a guy with a website named after his suckitude?) and Marbury is still a cancer. One surprising story of the first third is the emergence of a guy who played college ball at New Mexico, was drafted outside of the lottery and is holding together a franchise in a basketball-crazy area.
That’s right kids, we talkin’ Danny Granger.
This season has been DG’s coming out party. He’s in the top five in the league in scoring, and seems to be a lock for the All-Star Game at this point. Sure, he started to show his stuff at the end of last season, almost singlehandedly leading the Pacers to a playoff spot after injuries to Jermaine O’Neil and Jamaal Tinsley. In 08-09 however, Granger has exploded onto the scene. He’s also seemed to get a better feel for the professional game, as he is now third on the team in rebounds and steals per game, fifth in assists per game and first in blocks per game, rejecting 1.4 shots every contest. Plus, this kid’s got heart. Remember the game against Boston in which Danny dove for a lose ball and took out his front teeth on the hardwood?
Bottom line, Granger is going to be a force in the NBA for a while. We might as well sit back and enjoy the show.
BYTHEWAY: Exquisite Courts is proud to introduce rman620 as the newest member of the crew. Check out some of his all-sports related stuff over at allsports.wordpress.com. (He’s got some great NFL writing over there. Plus he’s crazy young like I am.)