Danny Granger, you've been called out.
Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz was not happy last night when he strolled into the Pacers locker room, after the blue and gold lost to the Nuggets 111-93, and Granger was nowhere to be found. The superstar had left the building.
He left behind him a stuttering T.J. Ford and a bunch of teammates who were confused over the team's lack of offensive firepower (the team's only weapon last season) in the first three games of the season. As Kravtiz said, this is Granger's team and he should be accountable even in the worst of times.
The photo that accompanied our game story last night is very telling. Granger's head is buried into his hands while he sits defeated, deflated and demoralized on the bench. Granger, who had 18 points and a team-high five turnovers last night, looks like crap. No need to sanitize it. He's sitting on the perimeter launching 3's and he's lost that cocky swagger that made him the NBA's Most Improved Player last year. Out of all the unknowns and uncertanties heading into this season, we knew Granger was going to an offensive powerhouse, single-handidly keeping the Pacers within striking distance. Oops.
In the middle of the third quarter, just after the Pacers cut the lead to 10 before being dismantled by the Nuggets stingy D, Mark Boyle quizzically asked cohort Slick Leonard why the Pacers' best guy at getting to the free-throw line had attempted more 3-pointers than field goals this season? The Pacers have shot 41 less free throws than opponents in three games so far, while 59 percent of Granger's attempts have been
swishing clanking from beyond the arc. After Boyle posed the question to Slick, there was a slight pause before Slick responded by saying it's just the way this offense has been designed. We'll save the Jim O'Brien discussion pending tonight's game at New York.
As for now, the Lone Granger needs a good game. The Pacers need a good game. And the Pacers need a win. Check out the jump for links to recaps of last night's game.
- Box Score
- AP Story
- Mike Wells writes about the Pacers not being nearly good enough to fall behind and mount a comeback after trailing 30-13 at the end of the first quarter. Dahntay Jones continues to impress on- and off-the-court. Jones gave the media the following statement.
"It's very tough to take three losses in a row like this. We're sick and tired of losing. They have the attitude and the ball players to back that up because they know they can win. They have one of the best point guards in the league and he really takes charge. We do fight back. But we dug too deep of a hole to come out of. We are still a work in progress and we've go to continue to help each other out and find a way to get this first win. Turnovers and fouls have hurt us. We've got to get it together" -- Jones
Bruno put together his postgame report on the loss. Interesting stat of the night that the Nuggets, since 2004-05, have the best record of any NBA team against the Pacers. Denver is 9-2 against the blue and gold in that span. Yuck. Here is also a link to a replay of Bruno's live blog to the game.
- John Oehser is pulling double-duty with an article for the Indiana Pacers Examiner about the blue and gold still struggling on the offensive side of the ball. Oehser also penned NBA.com's exclusive recap.
- Probably the best way to describe last night's game was by just showing a picture of a brick. At least that's how Eight Points, Nine Seconds saw it and we agree.
- The Denver Post writes about how the Nuggets got off to a good start to their six-game road trip with the win in Indiana.
- Our SB Nation partners over at Denver Stiffs have a recap from the Nuggets' perspective.
- Finally, if you live in the Greenwood area and want to see some positive Pacer fun, then check out Boomer who will be visiting the town on Saturday.