Feb 23, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) shoots over Detroit Pistons small forward Khris Middleton (32) during the fourth quarter at The Palace. Pacers win 90-72. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Granger is the X-Factor for Indiana Pacers

Facebook Question of the Day from Craig D.  “Who do you think is the X factor in pacers to be able to make a run at a championship?”  

I feel like this question could have a few different answers. You could start with Lance Stephenson as I know what an impact he made at different points last season throughout games.  He brought that energy to the starting line up that they were missing at times. He was able to push the ball up and down the court with some idea to get easy baskets.  During the playoffs, he even asked to defend Lebron James in that Miami Heat series.  When he was on, the Pacers looked like a different team.  But he still made those silly mistakes, like a bad pass that ultimately got him yanked for a bit during a blowout game. He’s got to correct those type of things, like knowing when to push the ball and when to make the simple pass, not the highlight pass.  This season will be an interesting one to see how he handles whatever change might come because of another guy I will talk about in this article, and who I fully believe could be that x-factor for the Indiana Pacers.

Next up, you could look at some of the new guys being brought in here.  Luis Scola sounds like he’s going to be a fine piece for the big men.  Chris Copeland is a deadly three point shooter that wants to extend his game all around.  C.J. Watson could be a solid back up point guard.  All three of these guys are looked to be big improvements for a bad bench unit last season.  They all need to fit in, and play their role up to make this a solid bench team as well.  This Pacers team could be different from most teams in having a rotation of 10 guys that can all contribute.  These three are legit x-factors as well.

But as my title suggest, I am going with Danny Granger. Here’s a guy coming off a season in which he only played five games.  The knee problems looked to be worse than anticipated.  I still believe he can contribute for this team, and I even think he could be the starting small forward based upon the guys that are here now. It seems to make much more sense to move Lance Stephenson back to the second unit in that shooting guard position, so Copeland could play the small forward, and everyone else fills out their positions. I also feel like Granger has enough respect of guys around here that they believe in him.  You could see it last season when Granger hit his first basket of the season, and all the guys came off the bench to celebrate with him. That shows me what an impact Granger can have on this team, and he’s the x-factor for a championship run.

Tags: Danny Granger Indiana Pacers

  • Rick Kruichen

    Hope he do what he does best and make pacers a lot better team to finally unseat the heat and make their way to a much deserve finals appearance

    • Stephen Ajamie

      It’s going to take all hands on deck to take out the Miami Heat. And even all hands on deck might not be enough, when you have the game’s best player on the other side that can just take over when he wants to.

      • Alexis Rose

        Ok they have the best player but basketball is a team game and not just by one alone can win a championship. Miami is not that tough, they only win on lucks coz if they were, then probably they could have swept the series or wont even had gone to game 7 with both pacers and san antonio. How can i imagine a team with 3 1/2 veterans superstars & in their primes having such a hard time competing with a team they said has no superstar and with SA an aging superstar. Not an impressive victory for a team with much praises.

        • Stephen Ajamie

          Well, the Spurs did have Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, two tremendous superstars in their own right. They were a team that were made to be there. And I wouldn’t call Miami lucky even though I wish I could say that. They’ve got Lebron James, the best player in the league, who can take over a game, a series, and carry this team as far as he can. It takes those right pieces around him as they’ve won the best two championships, which is definitely more than lucky.

          • Alexis Rose

            I said SA has an aging superstar in TD compared to the younger 3 of miami. TP was not at his best, if he was then they could have gotten that championship and not even a game 7. Lucky this year for miami they were able to escape the defeat that was almost there. The best player yes he can carry the team as far as he can, but not as far as winning a championship by himself!!!!! They won yes,but not all LBJ, his teamates had helped him one way or the other. And that is the next question for miami, would they always rely on LBJ, he is also human can get worn out. While their opponents are getting better and better, they are just same. Which actually like Indiana a better team now. So its hard to accept or to be thinking when someone says like miami can not be beaten,how come, they are not a super duper team that no one can dislodge!!!

  • khackett

    I think the X-factor is Paul George, and I don’t think it’s close. Why not Granger? Even if Granger comes back healthy, they don’t really need him. They didn’t need him last season, so it’s simply a potential bonus. Would he have made the difference in game 7 last year? Maybe, but next season the core will be better, AND have a really nice bench. The narrative of George “stepping up” in Granger’s absence is done, so is the poor bench excuse. George is instead the X-factor because while it’s clear he’s the Pacers #1 guy, his game really wasn’t that of a #1 guy (from a conventional perspective that is. Obviously he led in field goal attempts and was dominant defensively). With the Pacers, the offense will remain inside-out (West and Hibbert). George will still get his, but will he remain balanced in that dynamic knowing he’s the man? Will he remain such a great team player? He obviously did really well last season in this offense, so how will he “adapt” to the next season, the owner of a new max deal? Will he want the ball in his hands more? That’s not always such a good thing even for superstars (ask Melo)! If you turn even 1/3 of his turnovers last season into positive plays, he wouldn’t “need” the ball more, and they’d probably be the champs already. Let’s see if his usage follows that theory, but I doubt it. West’s minutes will get managed down to the low 30s, so George’s FGAs will surely increase as a natural component of his growth. That is a different formula coming off an extremely successful year! Oh yeah, and “#1 guy” has to show up in game 7s! Maybe from that perspective he should be shooting more? This is why I think he’s the X-factor. Granger, even if healthy, will be marginalized from the player he used to be. If he can focus on coming off screens and popping 3s, that would be huge, but we just have to wait and see how he fits in. Like I said, if it’s a positive contribution, it’s merely icing, until he hits some game winners or something, then come ask me again.

    • Stephen Ajamie

      Very very very well thought out comment right there. I am not sure I can add anything more other than I can see your point for George. I would think if he’s going to be that number one guy then I won’t label him as the x-factor per se because I feel like we all expect him to continue to get better. Which is probably that x-factor in itself. But I don’t have much reason to argue against your point or even debate it because it makes a ton of sense.

  • Terry Stringer Jr.

    Pg is not the x factor granger is

    • Stephen Ajamie

      Tell us why Granger is that X-Factor. I agree with you, and I think any reasoning will solidify your answer.

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  • Rob Stuart

    ROY HIBBERT is the BIG X Factor!!! David West the Leader, PG the Enforcer, George Hill the Floor General, Lance Stephenson The Rock and Roy Hibbert the X-Factor!

    • Stephen Ajamie

      Very interesting choice. What made you go with Roy Hibbert as the X-Factor of the team?

  • Toni Benz

    I go for the big man Roy Hibbert

    • Stephen Ajamie

      I think Roy HIbbert is a solid choice. You hope he has that confidence of last season going this year, and that wrist won’t be a problem like it was. If he’s on straight, he’s going to be an All Star this season.

      • Toni Benz

        He is the X Factor. His mere presence down low gives his team the Xtra CONFIDENCE & Xtra PUSH on the floor