ALBA Berlin veteran Jayson Granger has been one of the best Turkish Airlines EuroLeague performers to start 2021. In his first season with ALBA, the 30-year old point guard has found his footing after missing all of last season and two-thirds of the previous one with injuries while playing for Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Granger started this season coming off the bench, then assumed a starting role in Round 12 before significantly increasing his level of production in recent weeks.
Over the last three games, Granger ranks 10th in the league in scoring with 15.3 points per game and sixth in assists with 7.0 on average. He is posting an average PIR of 22.3 during that span. Only three players, and just one guard – Cory Higgins of FC Barcelona – have accumulated higher total PIRs since Round 18 than Granger.
Granger's streak actually started with the first game of the new year, a rescheduled Round 5 win over his former team, Baskonia, in which Granger starred with 21 points and 6 assists, carrying a depleted ALBA to victory. He built on that performance a couple days later when Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv visited the German capital in Round 18. ALBA lost, but Granger was everywhere that night, posting 13 points, dishing a career-high 11 assists, and pulling down 6 rebounds.
ALBA's playmaker continued producing well in both rounds last week, too. Granger first had 17 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds against another of his former teams, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, then two nights later collected 16 points and 6 assists in 23 minutes on the floor versus AX Armani Exchange Milan. Despite his efforts, ALBA lost both games.
Taking together all four games in January, Granger has had superstar numbers to start the year. He is attempting 11.3 field goals, up from 7.5 during the first 16 games, and making those shots at an impressive rate. In those four January games, Granger has made 75% of his two-point attempts, up from 42.9% in the first three months of the season, and has knocked down 44.0% from long range after making 34.5% prior to that.
Granger has scored at least 13 points in each game this month after previously scoring in double figures just three times over 16 appearances. He was averaging 7.3 points and 4.2 assists until the end of December, but has posted 16.8 points and 6.8 assists in the month of January.
Granger now gets a chance to continue his hot streak when ALBA travels to Vitoria-Gasteiz to face Baskonia for the second time in two weeks. A team that is slowly getting injured players back could certainly use more of his solid performances to help it make a late playoff push.