For the Indiana Pacers to be just average, Danny Granger has to be miles above average. And lately he has been — shooting 49% (eight points above his season average) in his last five games, and he has two 30 point outbursts in that time.
But Granger — maybe the league’s most underrated player — is doing it with a very heavy heart due to a family issue, he told the Indianapolis Star.
“I didn’t think things would be this bad, but adversity always will make you stronger regardless if it’s in basketball or in your personal life,” he said. “It’ll make me stronger and I’ll deal with it and I’ll move on….”
“Sometimes basketball can be considered a release for you, but when you have something weighing on you so heavy, I zone out at times,” Granger said. “Basketball is what I do, but a lot of things are more important. When you’re dealing with stuff with your family, it takes a toll on you mentality. It takes a lot to recover.”
Granger has declined to make public the problem, saying only that it will take time to heal. This is just the latest in what has been a very long season for Granger and the Pacers, as he has fought of foot injuries and the team has struggled mightily on the court due largely to an offense challenged to score points. (They want to be a running team, but they lack quality ball handlers, a minor problem with the plan.)
Tonight it doesn’t get any easier facing the Lakers in Los Angeles, just the start of a tough West Coast road swing.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.