Just yesterday, we were talking about how the preseason is largely unimportant. Well, there is one thing that can undoubtedly make it influential: injuries.
And last night, Danny Granger had one.
Granger sprained his left ankle late in the first half when he landed awkwardly after a drive to the basket. He stayed downcourt as play continued at the other end, then limped to the locker room as soon as play stopped.
“It swelled right up,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said about their best offensive player. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take for him to get healed. Clearly, we need him to be healthy. But we can’t do anything about that until we find out how severely sprained it is.”
I didn’t see the game at all. So all I know is what Mike Wells and Jimmy are telling us here. Regardless of severity, however, this is bad news.
The whole plantar fascia tear Danny suffered in his foot last year really impaired his season. He was playing poorly (for him) in the early going anyway and that, plus all the subsequent time he missed from that injury, dropped the perception of him somewhat significantly in many circles. And since nobody outside of those obligated by work or fandom were paying any attention to Pacers games after the All-Star break, few realize how well he played in the final 25 games of the year. (I’ll be getting into this in much more depth in mammoth Granger post to be published soon. Stay tuned.)
Because people missed all his late-season excellence last year, and just to properly recalibrate how the outside world views his basketball abilities, I was hoping he would be gangbusters out the gates this season, forgoing the way-too-many-treys behavior he displayed early on last season and instead scoring more efficiently than ever given how well I expect his dead-eye shooting accuracy to complement the play-making ability of Darren Collison.
That’s not to say that still won’t happen.
I’m merely saying that sprained ankles suck.
But c’est la vie. Hopefully Danny will be 100% by regular season tip-off.
TJ Ford also re-injured his hamstring last night and might see some time in street clothes as well, according to Wells. But I imagine you’re less concerned about that.
Bummer. He added the following:
“Paul George won’t start in Granger’s absence. O’Brien wants to continue to use him as the 1st wing off the bench so he gets use to it.”
Lastly, sounds like TJ is relatively fine.
Ford (hamstring) should be back in the lineup for Friday’s preseason finale at Chicago.