Danny Granger adjusting to new role with maturing Pacers
No matter how many baskets Danny Granger scores this season, the reaction from his first hoop of the year speaks volumes about who these Pacers really are.
Granger's return from knee injury means another offensive weapon for the Pacers. However, it also means fewer minutes for some, and fewer shots for others.
It seems they could care less.
"We're a unique team in that we're not a one or two superstar team with superstar players," said Granger. "We have seven or eight guys that it really doesn't matter how many touches they get."
Pacer head coach Frank Vogel agrees. "It's not a chemistry issue. These guys are welcoming him with open arms."
The reality is that being a high volume shooter is no longer Granger's nightly job. He has led the Pacers in scoring for the last five seasons. He is a former All-Star.
In Granger's absence, however, Paul George and David West have shouldered the scoring load. George has blossomed into an All-Star himself.
There are other playmakers on a Pacers roster that has risen to the number two seed in the east without Granger. From high scoring to role playing, Granger says that is fine with him.
"I don't need to be the player I was before. We have such a talented squad," said Granger. "We have seven or eight guys who don't care how many touches they get. Sometimes David West will score 30 points and the next game he'll take five shots. Same with Paul (George). Sometimes he likes to pass more than he likes to shoot. George Hill, same way. Nobody on our team really worries about scoring a lot of points, we just like to have fun and pass the ball around, move it and get good shots for each other, and that's what makes a team special is our chemistry. We don't have that one player who has to get 20 shots a game or he's going to be mad. That's not the way this team is made."
Granger will continue coming off the bench for the next several games as he works his way back into shape and back into the rotation.
"There is really no pressure. Playing limited minutes, a limited role. Unless I go out there and turn the ball over ten times in the twenty minutes I play than I can't mess it up," he said.
Granger is playing limited minutes and a limited role for a team that may have unlimited potential.