After months of playing the waiting game, Danny Granger finally saw minutes in a regular season game for the Indiana Pacers.
Granger battled a knee injury throughout the 2012-13 season that permitted him to play in only five games this past spring. He was then shut down for the remainder of the season following surgery.
All was well leading up to the start of the 2013-14 campaign until Granger had a setback in his rehabilitation. That came in the preseason during which Granger was beginning to get a feel for live basketball against opposition that are not his own teammates. The setback was a calf strain with a rehab time of about three weeks.
Three weeks then turned into about two months.
Those two months were well worth it for Danny, as he returned Friday night against the Houston Rockets in front of a sellout crowd anxious to see him back on the hardwood. The sellout happened to be the home crowd, a welcoming that pleased Granger.
And a return it was for No. 33, as Indiana routed Houston 114-81. The Pacers regained their defensive identity while pouring on the offensive dominance all while the guy that led the team in scoring for five years made his season debut 26 games in.
Albeit there were jitters, that is to be expected. Granger finished the night 1-7 from the field, 1-4 from 3-point land, for five points. He also committed five turnovers in his 22 minutes of action. More importantly, it seems as if Danny is back for good.
His teammates have raved about his shooting in practice and that “he looks like the old Danny.” Lance Stephenson has been quite vocal about Granger coming back, stating his threat of coming off the bench could help the team in the long run in terms of making a run at a championship.
Alas, rust there was. Rust there may continue to be. But, let the excitement level rise for the Indiana Pacers with another added piece to an already-elite squad.