Indiana Pacers' Granger grabs his ankle after he was injured in the second quarter of play against the Miami Heat during Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference second round basketball playoff series in Miami

Danny Granger to play in Game 6 despite swollen ankle


Danny Granger’s ankle is swollen up “like a small softball” and if this were the regular season he’s be sitting. But it’s not and he is going to go out there and play in Game 6 Thursday night, an elimination game for the Pacers who trail 3-2 in the series.

How well he can still play remains to be seen.

Granger was honest when speaking to the media, including Brian Windhorst of ESPN, saying he was on a lot anti-inflammatory medications.

“I have to play,” Granger said. “With an elimination game, our backs against the wall, I have to play.”

I know what this means, you know what this means and Granger knows what this means — he’s going to be guarding LeBron James and Lebron will test him early.

“I know when we know a player has an injury, it’s definitely in our mind and we attack it. So I’m sure he will. He’s been in attack mode anyway, and I’m sure he’ll be even more in attack mode knowing that I’m limited. But I rise to the challenge.”

He’s going to need big help from Roy Hibbert and help defenders behind him to have a chance. If LeBron or Wade are able to go off and dominate this game the series will end.

Indy also has to figure out how to replace Granger’s 18.7 points per game and shot creation on the wing if he is not able to produce.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.