Larry Bird: Danny Granger Has ‘Regressed’

by April 22, 2010
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Larry Legend tells the AP that his star forward took a step back this season both statistically and in terms of his effort on the defensive end: “Danny Granger, now more than ever, understands that Larry Bird is hard to please. Granger averaged 24.1 points this season, fourth-highest in team history and eighth-best in the league, but the Indiana Pacers president said his high-scoring forward took a step back. ‘I think sometimes, he rushes into things,’ Bird said. ‘He regressed a little bit.’ Statistics support Bird’s claim. Granger’s scoring average dropped from 25.8 the previous year, when he was an All-Star and finished fifth in scoring, while his 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting also dipped. His overall field-goal percentage fell by two percent. Bird said Granger didn’t defend as well as he’d hoped, either. ‘I thought his defense was great when he had a challenge, and I thought it was poor when he thought he could overmatch his guy,’ Bird said. ‘A lot of nights, he was very good on the defensive end. I’d just like him to be a little more consistent.”’