May 23, 2012, 10:30 AM EST
This much was clear from Miami’s thrashing of the Indiana Tuesday night — with Danny Granter the Pacers may not win but without him they are doomed.
Granger sprained his ankle just 3:11 into the third quarter when he landed on LeBron James’ foot following a three-point jumpshot attempt. He rolled his ankle and instantly went to the bench.
After Granger left the game the Pacers were outscored by 21 points. They may not win with him but Indiana is not winning Game 6 Thursday without him.
Granger left the arena in a walking boot but said to the Indy Star he would play Thursday.
“I don’t see a circumstance where I wouldn’t play (Thursday),” Granger said.
Players are usually the worst people to ask about when they can come back from an injury. Coach Frank Vogel said he didn’t know if Granger would be available. The fact is how the ankle feels the next 48 hours and responds to treatment will determine if he plays.
Even if he plays he will not be 100 percent. Which is not good, his defense on the wing is key to the Pacers plan of slowing the game down and turning the Heat into a jump shooting team. If an injured Granger rolls out there and LeBron and Dwyane Wade drive around him like he’s an orange traffic cone the Pacers will be golfing very soon.
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