Danny Granger

Danny Granger returns too, but appeared ‘a little rusty’ to Pacers’ head coach

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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.

From ESPN.com:

“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.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

Trevor Booker
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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.