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Danny Granger’s return soon… but not Wednesday

Feb 19, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers are one of a couple teams that could be a threat to the Heat in the East, but they need more offense and depth to do it. Which is why the return of last year’s leading scorer Danny Granger could be huge.

That return will be soon, likely this week, but not Wednesday, the Pacers announced.

The Pacers have the best defense in the NBA this season (96.2 points per possession) but the 24th best offense (100 points scored per 100). In theory you can plug Granger into the offense and it improves, move Lance Stephenson to the bench and it improves, and the Pacers are suddenly a lot better.

But things are almost never that smooth. The Pacers starting five with Stephenson in there is one of the NBA’s strongest lineups and, as Zach Lowe notes at Grantland, the lineups with Stephenson off the bench have not been as strong.

Frank Vogel has been an impressive young coach in the NBA, but this is what separates the Xs and Os coaches who are good from the special ones — changing players’ roles and getting them to fully buy into what you need them to do. Vogel has been good, but this will be his biggest test as an NBA head coach.

  1. bparmalee - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    The Pacers should have moved Granger last season when his value was higher…. he has shown to be injury prone… hopefully we can move him before the deadline. He is a proven scorer even with his injury issues.

    • dexterismyhero - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      bernie parmalee?

      • bparmalee - Feb 21, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Yeah. I’m a huge Dolphins fan and I always liked him as a player.

  2. steelmeats - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    They won’t start Granger right away. He’ll be coming off the bench for a few weeks at least if not for the rest of the season. I personally thing he should come off the bench for the remainder

  3. progress2011 - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Here’s a trade.

    Paul George brings the exact same skill set to the game, that Granger brings.

    BUT George is younger and has been more durable.

    Granger can still play, I just don’t think his body can endure the punishment of being a focal player.

    He will do very well in an offense where he is the 2nd or 3rd option.

  4. tmdill18 - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Granger has not been injury prone at all. And he has been a solid player in his career. It’s not his fault that he has been asked to be a #1 player, when in essence, his talent is #2 level. He will be fitting nicely with Paul George by the end of the season.I assure you, there are many contenders who would love to be adding a Danny Granger to their mix right now.

    • bparmalee - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Granger hasn’t been injury prone?? Games Missed: 08/09 15 games.. 09/10 20 games.. 10/11 only 3 games (should have traded him).. 11/12 20 games and he hasn’t played a game yet this season. Other than being injured often I guess he isn’t injury prone. It isn’t his fault that he gets hurt but the Pacers are a small market team and can’t have a max player missing 20 games a season or more. Love the guy but it’s time to move him on. Oh and his PPG have also decreased every year since 08/09 when the injury bug started…… not a coincidence.

  5. moseskkim - Feb 19, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    the emergence of paul george as a do it all player will help granger. Granger has a hard time creating his own shot and is pretty inefficient. Hes got a good 3 pt stroke so he can be a good drive and kick 3 pt shooter. Indiana needs more offense so i wouldnt want to trade him. it might open the floor up for hibbert.

    • badintent - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:19 AM

      trade Granger to Raptors for Andreas and Ross. Pacers get a young slasher in Ross and some outside shooting with Bargani.If Tibberts gets hurt , they can throw Andreas in the paint, he’ll panic, but West will kick his ass if he starts to run away.Raps then have 1-2 punch with Gay and Grangers to attack with mid-range jumpers to help DeRozen and Lucas drive to the basket.Win win for both teams.Salary $$ should be around the same.

  6. zacksdad - Feb 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    How does a team give up “(96.2 points per possession)” and rank as the top defensive team. Does that mean they are giving up 9,620 points per 100 possessions?

    • Distinguished Male - Feb 19, 2013 at 7:07 PM

      “The drive inside against the Pacers, a layup…it’s good! And there’s a foul! That’ll be And-95! Hope you got your popcorn ready folks, it’s free throw time!”

      • davidly - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:16 AM

        I don’t want them to score more points per se. I’d just like to see their defense remain as strong while their offensive efficiency to continue to improve, which it has been, albeit in fits and starts.

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