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Paul George says he, Danny Granger can play together just fine

Jul 27, 2013, 9:29 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game One Getty Images

When word came down Saturday that the trade bringing Luis Scola to the Pacers had gone final I tweeted that I really liked the Pacers lineup — they had maybe the best starting five in the NBA last year, they will now add Danny Granger to that and bring Lance Stephenson, C.J. Watson, Scola and Chris Copeland off the bench. I think they are serious title contenders.

A few people shot back that Paul George and Danny Granger haven’t meshed all that well yet and wondered how the return of a guy who was the team’s leading scorer two years ago is really going to work out.

Paul George says just fine, thank you very much. Here is what he told Hoopsworld in a recent interview:

“Even my second year in the league and my rookie year, we were still able to play off one another,” George said. “I didn’t have as big of a role as I do now, but we still did a good job playing off one another….

“We’re positioned really well,” George told HOOPSWORLD. “The only thing we really needed was the experience, and with everyone coming back together again, there’s no doubt in mind that we should win a championship.”

The question is this — can the Pacers include a powerful offensive player who can lift them up from 19th best offense in the NBA (on points per possession) without losing their defense? Have George and Granger matured enough to blend? I think the answer is yes, but we will see next season. The East is going to be difficult at the top this year.

  1. timb12 - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Winning solves everything. If they can win games I don’t think they’ll care what their stats look like.

    • kinggw - Jul 27, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Granger is in a contract year, he’ll care about his stats.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      I’m inclined to agree with you. Still, to play devil’s advocate, I’ll mention that Danny Granger will be in a contract year.

      The Pacers just gave Roy Hibbert a max deal. They’re near certain to give Paul George a max deal. They just gave David West a high-price (but well-earned) deal of around $12 million per year.

      Lance Stephenson proved last season he could be a good starting shooting guard, and with Paul George at the 3, it’s hard to imagine the Pacers prioritizing re-signing Danny Granger, who won’t be cheap coming off a deal that pays him a combined $27 million his final 2 seasons.

      In that case, Granger will be spending this season auditioning to other teams to get what will likely be his final long-term deal now that he’s 30 years old. Coming off a lost-season due to a knee injury, Granger NEEDS to put up good numbers to prove he should be considered still a high caliber starter by other teams in free agency. So it’s possible that Granger will be less than amenable to ceding control to Paul George.

      • kb2408 - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        Danny will fall in line. He has no other choice. Indy is P.G.’s and Roy’s team now. True, he will be playing for a new deal but I believe he will realize that Indy is a serious threat to win a title and will not want to mess that up. Either way, he’s done in Indy after this season.

    • kb2408 - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      I agree. Indy’s players just don’t seem like the type of players that are going to play for stats. I don’t see Bird letting D.G. mess up a potential championship team.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:04 AM

        If Granger is actually healthy next year with the pieces they added……… The Pacers are gonna be scary good!!!! The Heat better watch out!!!

  2. htownred34 - Jul 27, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    What did you expect him to say?

  3. hungryhungryhibbert - Jul 27, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    It’s interesting, love the moves, but, no offense to DG, he should come off the bench as a 6th man. Lance needs to play … Granger needs to be slightly limited in minutes, just to let the knee really get use to playing again. (At least to start the season)(IMHO)

  4. antistratfordian - Jul 27, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Any two players can play together… doesn’t mean they can play well together.

    My concern is if the addition of Granger’s shot bricking ways is going to reduce touches from West and Hibbert. In Hibbert’s case the timing couldn’t be worse.

    • money2long - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:00 AM

      george was saying they can do the latter. he feels they can play well off one another.

  5. kb2408 - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    I think Danny and George will be awesome together. As good as P.G. is, I think he’s better as a Pippen “type”, meaning a player that does a little of everything. Indy should allow Danny, Roy and David to do the heavy lifting offensively. P.G. can still do his thing and be an All-Star in the process. Indy is going to be very, very good…IF Danny is close to the player he was before the injury. They really have no weaknesses. They are certainly a team that is capable of winning a title next season. Heat “fans” might act like they’re not worried about Indy. But I bet you the Heat front office and the players are.

  6. metalhead65 - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Granger has already said he will have no problem coming off the bench and at least at the beginning of the season I don’t see a problem. this being a contract year he has to show other teams he is healthy again and worth signing. playing less minutes to start the season will help him and the team. the pacers win either way. if he shows he is half the player he was before the injury he will give them instant offense off the bench and if he is not happy with his role latter they can trade him and get more for him if he shows he can still play,

  7. mitchication - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Lance coming off the bench would bring a BOOST of energy not seen last year. Granger starts, and if he’s not up to snuff, in comes the next 6th Man of the Year. Scola, Copeland, Mahini?, Stephenson & Watson sounds like a solid bench 5 to me. Now, if Vogel plays them….

  8. trevor123698 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    you people hyping up stevenson are dumb as rocks. granger is a clear upgrade and allows George to be an even greater strength playing the 2 down the stretch. they lose because augustin and steph were garbage

  9. 00maltliquor - Jul 28, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    I really, really hope they keep Granger. I think with him in the mix and healthy, they have a legit shot at the Finals. Yeah, I know you could have said that about this years squad that made the ECF, but…no. Errrrrrrone knew MIA was gonna make it out alive. If you say no you’re only lying to yourselves.

  10. stayhigh_247 - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    I like the Pacers but they still have to beat a healthy Chicago and get over the mental challenge of beating Miami, but even if they do get out of the east there’s still the Clips, Memphis and the Spurs to contend with. Not saying it’s impossible, but it wont be pretty.

  11. emosnar - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Whoever comes out the East will be the champs. The west can’t hold a candle to the East. no one is worried about the Clips with a over rated Chris Paul. Wont even get out of the 2nd round. Spurs too old now, Memphis, please they are on the decline. You were better off saying Golden State. Them and OKC are the true and only West coast teams and barely. EAST Reigns supreme. Pacers only have to worry about Miami. We’ll wait to see what Chicago can do.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:21 AM

      You’re off your rocker! East is top heavy, but after those initial 5-6 teams, the drop-off if horrendous. West got 5-6 contenders plus 4 teams that will not make the playoffs that could make it easily if they were in the Eastern conference.

  12. adamsjohn714 - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    The Pacers should start
    C Hibbert
    PF West
    SF George
    SG Stephenson
    PG Hill

    Bring Granger off the bench. He’s a huge improvement over Gerald Green (who got 1000 minutes last year).

  13. tyreice - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    i thought he waz leaving the pacers for L.A. but trade stuckey an no eyebrows AN PEYTON SIVA off da pistions for paul geogre startin lineup DETRIOT PG JENNINGS SG PAUL GEOGRE SF JOSH MITH PF ANDRE DRUMMAND C LARRY SANDERS

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