Larry Sanders caught a lot of flak for pulling the “Hold me back! Hold me back!” routine against the Indiana Pacers. It was well-deserved. Sanders started the incident. He’d been playing recklessly before that game. He deserved all the scorn he got.
But allow me to posit another premise.
Danny Granger is a @#$%@#$%
Granger has started scuffles with Kyrylo Fesenko and Channing Frye. He spent the Pacer’s entire series against the Heat trying to start a fight with Lebron James. Granger is basically Reggie Miller with muscles and a diverse skill set.
Sanders has two choices: 1) stop being such an easy target or 2) be my Divine Justice and put Granger in a Sharpshooter.
I think we can safely take option one off the table because Sanders fouled out of Summer League. Players get like a bazillion fouls in Summer League. So I look forward to screaming “What!” chants the next time the Pacers are in town.
Sanders did have a better year than his rookie year. His assists per 40 minutes jumped from 0.7 to 2.1. POINT CENTER!
His slightly improved season was due to one simple adjustment: he took less jumpers than lay-ups. Two years ago, Sanders finished 64% at the rim, but the Bucks made him a pick-and-pop guy. He shot 31% from 16-23 feet away! Who would want him to shoot jumpers? The Bucks, that’s who.
Two things happened for Sanders to take more shots at the basket. First, he had to play center since the Bucks didn’t have one. Second, the Bucks started emphasizing cuts to the basket. Sanders shots at the rim were assisted 71 percent of the time as opposed to 54% the season before. These two adjustments are directly affected by addition of Samuel Dalembert. Sanders will have very limited time at center now. Plus, will Dalembert’s presence eat up space in the paint?
If Doron Lamb represents polish undervalued, then Sanders represents front office hubris. Sanders is Diet Anthony Randolph. Guys like Sanders and Randolph seem to represent a world of possibilities because of their athleticism. This leads to trying to develop too much instead of focusing on what those guys can already do and letting everything else grow naturally. Sanders can finish and block shots. Hopefully he sticks to that.