2012 Player Capsules: Larry Sanders

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!

There's a softer side to Larry Sanders. Layups and dropping dimes are apart of it. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

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.

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  1. Anthony Randolph is with the Bucks?  I didn’t know that.  I doubt that sanders will stay with the team much longer considering he is WAY down the depth chart at center.  Even rookie John Henson is ahead of him.

  2. Larry Sanders is the poor man’s Vanilla Gorilla. Coincedentally, they are now teammates.
    He could upgrade his status if he just learned how to keep his ass around the rim and how to catch the ball on offense, and to quit falling for every pump fake in the history of basketball on D.

  3. Fare thee well “the Larry Sanders Show”.. was fun while it lasted, but got cancelled due to low ratings

  4. PattiRafalskiDavison

    I’ll give Larry credit for one thing… in the face of adversity (like 7 guys in white jerseys taking shots at him) he wasn’t going to back down.  If he could just channel that scrappy nature of his in a more constructive manner, he could be legendary!  I heard Duleavy offered to tutor him just  so he could play against Pacers again.

  5. I give him credit for one thing: Sanders showed more emotion at that point than the team had showed all year. He’s such a raw talent still after three years in the league, and it’s kinda hard to envision him getting much better or being anything more than a big man off the bench. 

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  7. I have a hunch that Larry is never going to learn how to play at a professional (or semi-professional) level. Athletic ability is often over-valued in professional sports. Skill and game IQ are much more important. Larry is unskilled and doesn’t understand basketball. Based on his rate of progress I don’t see him improving any time soon. If he doesn’t get it soon we better cut him loose especially since he is buried on the depth chart and totally expendable. Professional organizations don’t keep unprofessional players on the payroll. sorry for to h8 but watching this guy play drives me bananas.