This much was clear from Miami’s thrashing of the Indiana Tuesday night — with Danny Granter the Pacers may not win but without him they are doomed.
Granger sprained his ankle just 3:11 into the third quarter when he landed on LeBron James’ foot following a three-point jumpshot attempt. He rolled his ankle and instantly went to the bench.
After Granger left the game the Pacers were outscored by 21 points. They may not win with him but Indiana is not winning Game 6 Thursday without him.
Granger left the arena in a walking boot but said to the Indy Star he would play Thursday.
“I don’t see a circumstance where I wouldn’t play (Thursday),” Granger said.
Players are usually the worst people to ask about when they can come back from an injury. Coach Frank Vogel said he didn’t know if Granger would be available. The fact is how the ankle feels the next 48 hours and responds to treatment will determine if he plays.
Even if he plays he will not be 100 percent. Which is not good, his defense on the wing is key to the Pacers plan of slowing the game down and turning the Heat into a jump shooting team. If an injured Granger rolls out there and LeBron and Dwyane Wade drive around him like he’s an orange traffic cone the Pacers will be golfing very soon.
In his first game in New Orleans, coach Alvin Gentry threw forward Omri Casspi right into the rotation, and he scored a dozen points.
Casspi also broke his thumb and will be out 4-6 weeks.
Because there is so little time in the season and the Pelicans want to make the playoffs, they have decided to waive Casspi, reports Sams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
The idea is to create a roster spot to either grab someone waived by another team over the next few days or to get players on 10-day contracts.
Casspi will be a free agent this summer, and there are a number of teams that think he has real potential once unleashed outside what was going on in Sacramento.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Ryan Kelly and guard Lamar Patterson to multiyear contracts.
Patterson provides depth across the perimeter, including at point guard. He previously signed two 10-day contracts with the team, most recently on Feb. 8. He has averaged 2.3 points in four games.
The 6-foot-11 Kelly has played in nine games with the Hawks after signing Oct. 31.
The Hawks now have their maximum 15 players. They traded forward Mike Scott to the Suns on Thursday, leaving two vacant roster spots.
Kelly and Patterson are expected to be available when the Hawks play Miami on Friday night.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee fired back at Shaquille O’Neal via Twitter after the former star-turned analyst posted on his verified account a disparaging photo of McGee with the words, “America meet Javale “BUM” McGee.”
O’Neal also responded angrily to McGee , saying he would “smack” McGee’s “bum a–.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Kevin Durant backed McGee on Friday, with Durant calling Shaq “childish” while calling out the retired center’s free throw shooting and other flaws in his game during a Hall of Fame NBA career.
Shaq and McGee went back and forth in a heated Twitter spat late Thursday night, when McGee returned to a reserve role for the NBA-best Warriors as starting center Zaza Pachulia returned from an eight-game absence because of a shoulder injury.
For a couple of seasons now, teams have tried to beat the Golden State Warriors by making the game ugly — slow, grinding, physical, and the opposite of the free-wheeling game they like. Only one team has had any real success with that strategy, and it has LeBron James on it (and even that wouldn’t have been enough if Draymond Green could keep his hands to himself).
So why not beat them at their own game?
That’s what Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey thought when he added Lou Williams to the roster, he said.
There is a sense around the Warriors that the Rockets may be a bigger concern than the Spurs, because Houston can score with them. Don’t confuse that with worry in the Bay Area, they are the best team in the West if healthy, but the Rockets may be the team they face off against in the conference finals.
And if that happens, Lou Williams is going to play a significant role.