The Indiana Pacers received some good news today as Danny Granger may finally make his season debut this week.
At the begging of the season, the The Indiana Pacers received word that Granger is out indefinitely. With their leading scorer out, the team struggled the first half of the season. Now with the second half underway, fans got good news, as the Pacers have been playing well without their fifth starter. The Pacers, ranked first in the central division and third in the eastern conference, only trail behind the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. They are now 7-4 in their past 11 games and with Granger on the verge of coming back, the news just keeps getting better.
According to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, the Pacers may get the starting forward this week.
The Pacers may get their fifth starter from last season — Danny Granger — back as early as Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Granger, out all season with a left knee injury, went through his first full-court practice Sunday.
The Pacers must decide if it’s important for Granger to play before the All-Star break next weekend or wait until Feb. 20 against the New York Knicks.
Granger is staying in Indianapolis over the break to continue working out.
“I thought he looked great,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said about Granger’s first extensive practice. “We have to see how his body responds, obviously. Have him go through another practice Tuesday and see where we’re at. I think it could be helpful to get his feet wet on Wednesday, but we have to make sure he feels good.”
The absence of Granger for most of the season, greatly affected the team however the Pacers managed to maintain a high record as first-time NBA all-star, Paul George, emerged and took charge of the team. George has been averaging 17.8 points per game, 1.8 steals per game and 3.9 assists per game.
As we witness George having a tremendous season, the return of Granger could cause havoc in the east and help the Pacers gain the number one seed in the east if both Granger and George can effectively co-exist. Hypothetically Granger’s return could provide a lot of help to the team, however a knee injury takes time and rest to heal. It could be a while for Granger to play like he did last season.
While the Pacers rank first in defensive efficiency, even beating the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls twice this season and without Granger, the Pacers however are ranked 28th in scoring efficiency. Once Granger becomes healthy and gains more minutes he can surely uplift the team and supply that much need boost offensively.
Granger averaged 18.7 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game and 1.9 assists per game last season. He was also a key component on the Pacers, pushing the second round matchup against the Miami Heat to a six game series.