May 22, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) leaves the game after injuring his ankle in the third quarter against the Miami Heat during game 5 of the 2012 NBA eastern conference semi-finals at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Indiana Pacers caught a break when the Miami Heat depth took a hit with the suspension of forward Udonis Haslem. But that won't really matter if Danny Granger can't give the Pacers a strong effort on his sprained ankle.
Granger did not practice with the team on Wednesday while still dealing with the painful ankle. Granger is ready to give it a go in Game 6, though.
"In my mind, I'm going to play," Granger said. "Elimination game, I have to play."
While I appreciate the attitude, Granger had problems keeping up with LeBron James when his ankle was 100%. It will be tough to just squeeze some offense out of Granger if the ankle remains a bother. No double James and Dwyane Wade will be pushing the ball at Granger to see if that ankle holds up.
In better injury news, David West proclaimed himself fit with no knee problems, dismissing any reports that he sprained his knee in the second half on Tuesday. Just a little tweak that turned out to be nothing. Like Granger, West needs to bounce back and deliver a big performance for the Pacers to extend the series to Game 7.