Tonight, the Golden State Warriors go head-to-head with the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will mark small forward Danny Granger’s first home game of the season, as he just returned to game play Saturday night after finally recovering from a knee injury.
Though Granger made a relatively quiet season debut on Saturday night during the Pacers’ 90-72 win over the Detroit Pistons, he nevertheless played a solid 19 minutes and registered two points and two rebounds.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of Granger’s return, “Rusty, but it is to be expected. Certainly he is playing a lot better than the practices the last few weeks, but that is what we expected the first game back with the first taste of it,” as reported the Kansas City Star.
The victory against Detroit was the fourth straight win for the Pacers and, as the team returns home tonight with Granger on the court, they will be highly motivated to continue their winning streak.
According to Mark Montieth of NBA.com, Granger “seems prepared to shift from star to supporting cast member” coming off his knee injury. Granger will surely be a very strong supporting cast member, nonetheless. The small forward has led Indiana in scoring for the past five seasons, and he was honored as NBA’s Most Improved Player four seasons ago.
As NBA.com reported, Granger said of his return to the court, “I don’t need to be the player I was before.” He continued, “We have such a talented squad. We have five guys (four, actually) who are either an All-Star or have been an All-Star. We’re a really, really deep team.” And, the team is deeper now with Granger healthy and ready to play.
The 29-year-old also added, “Nobody on our team really worries about scoring a lot of points, we just like to pass the ball around, move it and get good shots for each other, and that’s what makes a team special. We don’t have that one player who has to get 20 shots a game or he’s going to be mad.”
Undoubtedly, the Pacers face a tough competitor in the Golden State Warriors tonight with point guard Stephen Curry leading the pack. Golden State won the first matchup against Indiana this season, with Curry totaling 20 points and 11 assists.
Yet, with point guard George Hill, small forward Paul George and power forward David West coming off of great performances that held Detroit to a season-low of 72 points, and Danny Granger finally back in uniform at home, the Pacers will be quite motivated to extend their winning streak against the Warriors.