As the soreness in his heel waned after several practices this week, Danny Granger decided to go ahead and get back on the court as soon as possible, beating everyone's estimation as to when the Indiana Pacers star would return to action.
In his first game back in action, Granger dropped 19 points and nabbed six rebounds in 31 minutes on the court. Granger said after the game that his heel felt fine, but he will need a few games to get back into the flow of the NBA.
"I had a feeling that it would be sooner than later," Granger told the Indianapolis Star. "It's just a matter of keeping an eye on it and making sure it doesn't get sore. It's kind of like nostalgia when I got back on the court because I haven't been there for a month or so. I have to get myself back in the flow of things."
After announcing that Granger would return earlier than expected on Friday, Pacers fans immediately worried that they were rushing their star back to soon, back to a team that holds the fifth-worst record in the league. But coach Jim O'Brien said Friday that they wanted to get him back on the court as soon as possible as long as there was no soreness.
"He responded well to a couple days of practice," O'Brien said. "He didn't have the soreness that we had anticipated." It's very important to have a guy of Danny's talent on the court for a number of reasons. He's a go-to-guy. He's a very good isolation guy when things break down, he spaces the court. Our whole package of plays are in play when he's able to play. We have to get him going as quickly as possible."
Unfortunately, Granger's return, along with Troy Murphy's comeback., couldn't get a blue and gold win in Minnesota. Tonight, fans will get a sense as to how Granger's heel feels directly after playing hard on it the night before. The Pacers play in Oklahoma City tonight, the tail end of a back-to-back. Check out more links after the jump.
- AP Story
- Box Score/NBA.com Recap
- Mike Wells recaps the game and gives us some Pacers' insight as to why they were outrebounded by 20 on the glass. Coach Jim O'Brien cited the team's lack of aggressiveness as an issue. It could also be that your power forward doesn't like guarding and boxing out on the block. Here's JoB:
"I think they were way more aggressive, there's no question about it. Anytime you have the disparity in rebounding and free throw attempts, I think that has a lot to do with aggressiveness." -- O'Brien
- Mike Wells turned his blog over to reader Naptown Seth who gives his thoughts on the game. Also, Wells provides a notebook story on Granger's return.
- Canishoopus gives a really great recap of the game from the Timberwolves' perspective, including some great thoughts on the ridiculousness of the game not being televised by either team. Also jumping in from the Twin Lakes area are reports from Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, the TWolvesBlog, and from the Pioneer Press.
- The IndyStar wrote a snippet on Larry Bird's new commercial starring Dwight Howard and LeBron James. The Sporting News provided a take on the commercial remake with some video relics.
- Always Miller Time recaps last night's loss in Minnesota.
- The IndyStar is reporting that the Simon family is involved in some estate situations involving late-Pacers owner Mel Simon.
- Bruno previews the second part this weekend's back-to-back game with the Thunder tonight, which begins at 8 p.m. and is also not televised by FSN Indiana. Awesome. Luckily, tonight will be broadcast by the Oklahoma City station, so if you really enjoyed watching last night's game through Jumbotron Vision, you're out of luck tonight.