Granger not ready to return to game action
Danny Granger is excited to play again. That we know. But when he might make his season debut continues to be a fluid situation. Following his first full practice on Thursday, Granger said that he doesn’t think he will play on Friday when the Pacers host the Charlotte Bobcats.
“I don’t like where I’m at with my timing and my rhythm and obviously my conditioning,” he said. “…I don’t feel like I’m ready yet. I dribbled the ball off my foot a couple times and just things when you haven’t played. Lost the ball in transition on a pass. My rhythm isn’t there yet.
“By all means, I could physically play, easily. Like I said, it’s more of a rhythm thing. When you’re playing at those type of speeds, you have to do it for a while to get used to doing it again.”
“I think we’re excited about it but I don’t think we’re overly eager,” said coach Frank Vogel. “I think we’re excited what Danny is going to bring to this team. He’s going to strengthen everything we’re doing. We just have to be smart about it and make sure it’s the right time, and make sure he’s ready.”
Pacers center Roy Hibbert is looking forward to having No. 33 back on the floor, but he has clearly become irritated with the situation. He wants the focus to be on the product on the floor, and their 19-3 record.
“I’d love to have him back and see what he can give us,” Hibbert said. “But I’m seriously tired of hearing all the stuff, ‘When Danny gets back, Danny gets back.’ We’ve been working, and we’ve been rolling.”
With a swarm of national media on hand Tuesday for their first meeting of the season against Miami, Granger told reporters that there was a “very good chance,” that he’d play Friday.
Granger, who missed all but five games last season and has yet to contribute to the Pacers’ 19-3 start, is day-to-day. Last season it was a knee issue, which likely contributed to a calf strain that he suffered in the preseason. The good news is that Granger has practiced three straight days.
“I am healthy now,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting my rhythm back. It’s not a frustrating thing. We’re winning and we’re having a great season. Yeah, I want to play soon, but I can’t go out there and play and be making all these crazy mistakes because I haven’t played in a while.”
“I’ve always been able to shoot the ball,” said Granger, a 38 percent 3-point shooter over his eight-year career. “It’s a big difference just shooting, and then running up and down the court four times and then stepping into a jump shot. That’s what you have to condition your body for.”
So what’s it ultimately going to take?
“I think it’s going to be a conversation between me and Frank,” said Granger. “When I tell him, ‘Look, I’m feeling good,’ and obviously he has to see me playing well, and then we’ll talk about it.
“I’m not going to get on the court until I’m ready. … I know right now I’m not ready yet, mentally and [with] my game — not physically.”