What will Danny Granger bring home from Las Vegas?
I haven't watched every minute of the Team USA training camp shows on NBA TV but I've watched enough to earn some puzzled looks from my wife (No words, but a rough translation of the furrowed brow is, "You're watching guys practice and listening to other guys talk about guys practicing?"). While I'd probably watch some anyway, I'm real interested in seeing how Danny Granger fits into the mix.
Yesterday he was going through drills and scrimmaging with the more potent blue squad which might be a good sign for his chances of making the team. Although, even if Granger doesn't make the final 12-man roster, the workouts this week give him a chance to expand his game both mentally and physically. Rebounding and defense are two areas Granger needs to develop for the regular season and are also two areas where he'll need to contribute to Team USA if he wants to play in the World Championships. But learning to lead young players is an equally important take away from his time in Vegas.
Granger doesn't have innate leadership ability and with this group he can just play instead of trying to play and lead. But, he also has a the opportunity to work on his leadership skills by observing Chauncey Billups and the way he handles himself and other players all day. Chris Tomasson is all over these workouts and has a nice piece on Billups as one of the older statesmen among the Team USA campers this week.
"It's just another day at the office,'' said Billups, who is normally a point guard but also will be getting minutes at shooting guard for Team USA. "I just do what I do. I'm leading in the way that I have led. I teach guys by talking to them during practice, before and after practice, off the court.''
Noting how Billups goes about his business and tries to lift the game of those around him comes at a critical time. With older players on expiring contracts for the Pacers and another group of young players added to the mix this summer, the time is now for Granger to pull his weight as a team leader. He already has a relationship with Paul George so that may jump start his ability to mentor the other young players in addition to George.
After the jump, a few more links from the Vegas workouts along with an attempt to quantify team chemistry and more hometown excitement for Magnum Rolle.
The Freeport News - Larry Bird/Magnum Rolle connection
Fred Sturrup notices all of the attention the Pacers are showing Freeport native, Magnum Rolle and appears to realize that Magnum P.F. has a real chance of making the Pacers roster this year. I'm starting to think the Pacers will own the Bahamas once that roster spot is nailed down.
Colangelo: Tyson Chandler 'Not in Shape' but Still in Mix for Team USA
Team USA's frontcourt is thin at best but may have to make due with Chandler working his way back into shape.
Sharpshooter sets sights on U.S. roster spot
Steve Carp reports on Stephen Curry trying to shoot his way onto Team USA this week.
Lee says he won't miss camp
David Lee is done with Team USA due to an injured middle finger, but he'll be ready to start training camp with his new team.
Extracting "chemistry" from the Adjusted +/- numbers " Numeranda
A noble effort to quantify chemistry. The Pacers fare so well there must be some flaws with the initial work.
New Hornets brass already facing crisis with Paul
Ken Berger reports on a restless Chris Paullooking to join his own championship-ready team, a la LeBron.