Danny Granger is a pretty good guy to talk to about basketball. He usually tries to give a genuine answer to the question at hand and, while sometimes spouting clichés like everyone, doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to sugarcoat turds.
While there are some “both teams played hard” type responses in the above interview recently recorded by HoopsWorld, he also offers some genuine insight into how it felt to lose to Miami last year, blowing what he calls a “HUGE opportunity” to beat Miami as they entered a Game 4 in Indiana up two games to one.
“We learned that every game in every series, you have to play it like a Game 7. We had a 2-1 lead on Miami and they came back and we didn’t win another game in that series … It sat with a bunch of us for a long time and that’s been our goal this year: to get that taste out of our mouth.”
The interviewer asks him if something LeBron has said in the past now resonates more with him: Whether losing really makes you realize how hard winning in this league actually is and how much harder you have to work.
“Losing like that makes you realize that even if you’re doing enough, you ain’t doing enough. So you have to push that much harder and pay attention that much more to game film. You really have to become more a student of the game to beat teams in the playoffs.”
That’s all in the past, however. Now, looking ahead to next season, Danny says he actually likes being an underdog. But while much of the media dismisses his team as more of a pretender than a contender, he doesn’t believe those inside the league take Indiana lightly.
“The media might overlook us, but when we play teams, they don’t overlook us anymore. I think that stopped toward the end of last year … teams in the NBA know what we’re about.”