Grant Hill discusses Granger’s return: ‘He’s icing on the cake’
Grant Hill dealt with a multitude of injuries throughout his 19-year NBA career. Most of them were ankle related, and one caused him to miss the entire 2003-04 season.
Hill was drafted at No. 3 in 1994 by the Detroit Pistons and he played his first six seasons there. Then, he spent seven seasons in Orlando, five in Phoenix and his final one with the Clippers. After playing in just 29 games last season, he decided to shut down for good.
Hill, 41, is now an NBA analyst on NBA TV and the co-host of NBA Inside Stuff, which airs at noon each Saturday. I talked with him this week about Danny Granger’s return, getting back in game condition and where the Pacers will benefit.
“I think Danny Granger will play a big role with the Pacers and certainly a lot has changed with that team since he was healthy,” Hill said. “Paul George has emerged, [Roy] Hibbert’s gotten better at both ends, [David] West is there and so it’s a different team and they had a great season last year and they’ve had a great start.
“I think in order for them to get over that hurdle and ultimately become a championship team, to get by the Miami’s and ultimately win a championship, I do think they need Granger. It’s a luxury in some respects that he’s not forced to come back and be necessarily the Danny Granger of old, who carried the team and had to score 25 points a game. At this point in time, he’s icing on the cake.
“I think a lot will be how coach Vogel, how the rest of the guys and how Granger – what their attitude and mindset is when he comes back. Is he going to embrace the fact that the team is different, come in with the right attitude and slowly get his timing, his rhythm, his game back and hopefully as the team goes into the postseason or the last 20 or 30 games, they collectively hit their stride.
“That’s a big question. I think it’ll happen. I think those guys are on a mission. Those guys are playing for something bigger than themselves, but it may take some time to get to that point. The good thing is that they’re so good, that they can still win games throughout the regular season. I think that’ll be a huge addition.
“I hope he’s right. I know it takes time, though, coming in mid-season. You got to work out all the rust. He’s missed a lot of basketball over the last couple of years but if he can slowly, daily, weekly put together consecutive days of health, the basketball part will take care of itself.”