Danny Granger is finally back on the floor tonight in a limited role. For the time being, he’ll come off the bench and then go back into the starting lineup. I know most people feel that he probably should come off the bench the rest of this season. But he’s going to be needed come playoff time with the starters. I would feel much more comfortable with him in the starting line up than Lance Stephenson, who has vastly improved this season. Stephenson can add another dimension to the bench with his energy and new found confidence that’s allowed him to score and look for others to score.
I still believe Granger brings the team up a level with his intensity. We saw that last year in the playoffs. Even having him dressed and on the bench has to help the morale of this Pacers team, which has to be at an all time high with the past three games. Tonight’s game against the Pistons could be a blood bath if it’s anything like last night. The Pacers ran away from that game, and it looked like a pick up game from the tip. I made the comment to my family as we sat in the stands witnessing this that I’ve seen better defense in the pick up games on Wednesday night that I am part of. That Pistons team hardly had an answers for anything. Everyone actually scored on the Pacers team if that tells you all you need to know.
When will Granger actually be the Granger we know? Well that answer is in how quickly he can get going. He’s been known as a slow starter, and I hope that he doesn’t force this issue to try to get back into playing shape. With the way the team has been playing, I think Granger should feel no pressure to step right back into that leading scorer role. There will be those nights when he will be called upon, but right at this beginning, I see him easing himself into things. Especially with a knee injury that lingered around last season. Moving with the flow of the offense, and getting his shot when he can is going to the idea.
Going into a game that the Pacers should win even without Granger should help ease him into form. I think it’s better to go back on a road game, so you don’t have the whole home city watching your move. Don’t worry home fans, we will see Granger back in action come next week. We’ll see what he has tonight, and I think he’ll get a rousing ovation when he comes to play back hom next Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors.