Above is the Tweet of Death that I have been fearing from Mike Wells.
Danny Granger will be sidelined “at LEAST” a month after being forced out of the team’s last game against the Clippers with an apparent heel injury — something that has been bothering him since the preseason. And as anyone familiar with plantar fasciitis knows, this is a part of the body where the injury lingers long after the player is able to come back and play. It’s supposedly one of the more painful things you can go through, particularly among those more “minor,” non-Greg Oden-level injuries, so even once a guy comes back, he still usually isn’t “back back” for a while longer — if at all for the whole season really. (Ask a Spurs fan about Timmy’s plantar year if you want to hear all about the worst-case scenario.)
In his Indy Star injury annoncement, Wells adds that “No surgery is required, and Granger will begin rehabiliation immediately.”
So, yeah, this is not good. This is not good at all.
I think I half-sarcastically mentioned in the Clippers game recap that it might actually be interesting to see what the Pacers offense would look like if you removed the one guy who used nearly 1/4th of the teams possessions, largely to shoot threes. But I meant for, at most, a game or two. Not … *checks the schedule* … 17 games. Wow. Not good. And that’s the best-case, he’s-only-out-30-days-exactly scenario. If he misses six weeks from today, that would be 23 games.
Is the season completely lost? Our most likely answer is: probably.
It’s not certain because, as those with keen memories will recall, Danny missed a fair amount of time last year as well, and the Pacers managed to go 9-6 sans Granger. And that was even without Mike Dunleavy for all intents and purposes.
Your 8p9s co-writer Tim Donahue was quick to note, however, that those 9 wins without Danny last season came against opponents who finished the season with a combined .390 winning percentage and the only team of those nine with a winning record was Denver. Without Danny, Indiana beat (in chronological order): New Jersey (on the road), Clippers (at home), Milwaukee (home), Minnesota (road) Chicago (home), Memphis (home), Denver (home) and Sacramento (road).
That’s not exactly comforting.
And since Wednesday’s game comes against the now-Odenless Blazers, this has to be one of the most depressing NBA games I can remember for some time. It’s the “Our Season Is Totally Over Bowl.” Sponsored by, of course, the tears of orphans.