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.
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try: