It wasn’t exactly a perfect night for Danny Granger, playing his first game of the season for the Pacers after working his way back from a severe knee injury.
Granger missed his first eight shots of the game, but playing against a woeful Pistons team that Indiana had just beaten by 32 the night before, the team wasn’t exactly looking for any additional contributions. He finally got one to go early in the fourth that pushed his team’s lead to 20 once the shot went down.
He lingered behind everybody else, took in a long pass from Paul George and made a 15-foot jumper with 9:25 left in the game.
As they’ve done all season, the Pacers erupted off the bench in excitement. Granger’s teammates mobbed him like he made a game-winning shot as he walked off the court during the next timeout.
“I knew I was going to hear it from the guys cause I had missed so many shots,” Granger said laughing. “I was 0-for-8 at that point. I just couldn’t get it going. I was just happy to score at that point.”
Granger could be a huge boost for the Pacers if he can regain the form he had before the injury, when he consistently showed his ability to score, and often times did so when his team needed him the most.
There will be an adjustment period for the Pacers, who have played well to this point in the season without him. But as he regains his conditioning and his confidence, Granger should bolster Indiana in plenty of time for the team’s run into the postseason.
Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.