Indiana wants to find a long term alternative for Danny Granger.
Team officials announced the one off All-Star forward is expected to miss up to 3 months after receiving an injection in his left knee to treat patellar tendinosis.
Losing Granger for an extended period is a big blow for a team that entered this season looking to say for an Eastern Conference title. He was the Pacers’ top scorer last season (18.7 points) and is generally their first option in late-game situations, as well.
All the Indiana Pacers can do now is move on.
“We still have a heck of a team,” Coach Frank Vogel declared. “We’ve still got a great deal of talent, lots of depth. So my hopes are really high that we’ll excel without Danny.”
Granger originally hurt the knee during May’s playoff run. Vogel related the soreness dissipated for a bit, then returned while Granger was working out in the offseason.
In Sep, Granger said he underwent blood-platelet treatment, which he described as a painful experience that would take months to totally heal.
“It hurts,” Granger related in mid-October. “They take the blood out and inject it back in, so it hurts. But it helps you heal tremendously.”
Seemingly, Granger hasn’t reaped those benefits yet. He has not played in any of Indiana’s first 4 regular season games, though he did make one preseason appearance. At Cleveland, on Oct. 23, Granger scored 9 points in 13 minutes.
Without him, things haven’t always gone smoothly.
The Pacers (2-2) are averaging 20.3 turnovers a game; a number Vogel has already recognized must be cut seriously. Vogel is also trying to figure out lineups and rotations without Granger. Gerald Green, signed as a free agent in the offseason, started the 1st 3 games. He’s scoring 9.8 points and grabbing 4.3 rebounds, but giving up 2.5 turnovers per game.
Granger’s absence has been more notable in the closing moments of games.
Indiana looked out of sync in the last minute at Charlotte and couldn’t take advantage of several chances to win at lowly Charlotte. As an alternative they wound up losing 90-89 — the Bobcats’ first win in 24 games. The next night, against Sacramento Kings, Indiana missed 2 shots at the end of regulation and two more at the end of the1st overtime before finally getting past Sacramento 106-98 in double overtime.
Even opponents have noticed a difference.
“Maybe if you have (Granger) he closes that (Charlotte) game out,” Kings coach Keith Smart recounted. “Not having your go-to guy can change lots of things.”
But instead of building this team around a superstar, the Pacers decided to reinforce their bench. They’re hoping that will take them further into the playoffs than last year’s 2nd-round exit against Miami.
That decision could serve them well now.NFL betting lines
David West, Paul George and George Hill are all scoring in double digits. All-Star center Roy Hibbert is averaging 8.8 points 7.8 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. And Tyler Hansbrough and Lance Stephenson have given the Pacers good minutes off the bench.