Danny Granger

Danny Granger now not expected to return Friday. But soon.


We don’t need to tell you the Pacers are doing just fine without Danny Granger — they have the best record in the NBA (19-3) and knocked off the Miami Heat this week.

Yet with Granger, they either will improve or they will have a potential trade piece to shop around at the deadline (or both).

Granger originally said he expected to make his season debut for the Pacers this Friday, but now those plans have changed as he doesn’t feel ready, reports Scott Agnes of Pacers.com.

“I don’t like where I’m at with my timing and my rhythm and obviously my conditioning,” he said. “…I don’t feel like I’m ready yet. I dribbled the ball off my foot a couple times and just things where you haven’t [been] playing. Lost the ball in transition on a pass. My rhythm isn’t there yet.

“By all means, I could physically play, easily. Like I said, it’s more of a rhythm thing. When you’re playing at those type of speeds, you have to do it for a while to get used to doing it again.”

We’ve heard this same thing from other players lately — they don’t want to get on the court and not feel like they can do the things they expect to do. Still, as we have seen with both Derrick Rose (before the second injury) and Kobe Bryant there still is some rust you can’t shake off in practice.

After the Friday game against Charlotte the Pacers are off for the weekend, then face the Pistons on Monday before traveling to Miami for a rematch on Wednesday. A week from Friday the Houston Rockets come to Indiana.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.