Luc vs. Danny Granger

Pacers Offense Allows Granger to Step Up Against Bucks

Steve von Horn of Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop has begun a series called « In Defense of Defense » wherein he will analyze Luc’s impact on the defensive end of the court against some of the game’s elite wing players. Over the next few weeks, von Horn will analyze every matchup between Luc and several star players over the past three years. He will post his findings to Brew Hoop and we’ll share them with you here on

Through three reviews, Luc has proven that he is every bit worthy of his reputation as one of the league’s premier stoppers. No. 12 has done solid work to hold down LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, with each All-Star seeing their production dip when Luc is on the floor. The fourth participant in the Luc Moute Defensive Impact Study is Indiana’s Danny Granger and the findings were rather surprising.

Luc has done well with Granger inside the paint, but his mid-range game ticks up against No. 12 (Getty Images).

According to von Horn’s research — which spans 223 total minutes over nine game across the last three years — Granger is the first player of the four studied so far to take his game up a notch with the Prince in the game,

The numbers clearly show that Luc’s size and length bothers Granger on the inside, as the Pacers scorer managed just 13-of-30 when matched up against Luc in the paint. But once the game goes toward the perimeter, Granger steps up. Despite taking only slightly more mid-range shots against No. 12, Granger connected at a much higher rate and his three-point shooting was on par with his career averages.

After watching hours of tape, Von Horn believes Granger’s success to be a product of Indiana’s offense, which often allows Granger to get loose off screens, catch and shoot.

Granger manages to play well against Luc in part because he’s not a star player of the magnitude of LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony. Danny gets to play off-ball a lot more than those guys, and his ability to catch-and-shoot means LRMAM is constantly bombarded with screens. There is a special emphasis on using stagger screens, because they give two screeners the chance to disrupt angles that Luc can take to stay physical with Granger. This explains why the perimeter shooting numbers look so good in comparison to the bigger names already covered in this series.

With such a rise in perimeter shooting production, comes a rise in Granger’s offensive rating, which goes up 4.7 pts per 100 possessions from his three-year averages with Luc on the floor. By comparison, LeBron, Durant and Carmelo each saw their offensive rating drop by that much against Luc.

That’s four perimeter stars in the books, with just a few more to go in von Horn’s thought provoking study. Next up is the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant.