Derrick Rose wasn’t the only player making a long-awaited return to the court when the Bulls and the Pacers opened the preseason against each other on Saturday. Danny Granger, who missed essentially all of last season with a knee injury, came off the bench for Indiana and scored six points on 2-of-10 shooting in 29 minutes of action.
Granger looked as though he was pressing to try to get most of his looks offensively, and clearly wasn’t yet comfortable back on the court. He airballed a decent look from three, and just flat-out missed two layups in transition.
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel noticed how off Granger appeared, but said afterward that the performance was to be expected.
“He was a little rusty, and I wouldn’t expect anything but that,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “His game condition is in the final part of his recovery.”
Granger entered the game with 6:02 left in the first quarter. He made his first basket, a 3-pointer, with 10:54 left in the second quarter.
“It was a good first step,” Granger said. “My second wind didn’t kick in during the first half like it usually does, but it was good to get that under my belt.”
Granger’s addition to the lineup would greatly help the Pacers, obviously, should he be able to get anywhere near the player he once was. A consistent and dangerous scorer, Granger made the All-Star team in 2009 when he averaged a career-best 25.8 points per game.
He wouldn’t be called upon to provide that kind of production, given the way Indiana’s roster is currently constructed. Once healthy, he could prove to be a valuable boost off the bench, especially offensively. But it’s clear he’s not close to being that player just yet.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.