A Danny Granger injury is not what the Indiana Pacers wanted to deal with right now. Danny Granger’s injury occurred during a practice with Team USA on Tuesday, in which he injured his right ring finger. According to Chris Mannix at Sports Illustrated, Granger dislocated his finger on the basketball rim.
Doctors will do an X-ray on the finger to find out if the injury is worse than predicted, but, right now, it looks like Granger will miss the next six weeks to recover from the injury. That could push his return up against the window he has before the Indiana Pacers start their fall training camp at the end of September. The season doesn’t start till the end of October, so at least it seems like he won’t miss any regular season games due to the dislocated finger. That is definitely good news for the Pacers, but we will need to wait for those X-ray results.
The Indiana Pacers had another tough year in the 2009-10 season, finishing the season 32-50 overall and missing the NBA Playoffs by nine games. It netted them a nice selection in the 2010 NBA Draft when they took small forward Paul George from Fresno State, but this is a team that really needs to take its time and develop him over the next few seasons. That leaves this Indiana team with very few improvements over their squad from last year, and losing Granger isn’t something they can recover from.
Granger is the best player on the Indiana Pacers right now, and has emerged as one of the best scorers in the NBA. At just 27 years of age, the Pacers had been hoping he would improve more for the 2010-11 season, and practicing with Team USA was putting him in the prime position to do just that.
Last season with the Pacers, Granger averaged 24.1 points per game to go along with 5.5 rebounds per game. He was down slightly in scoring from his 25.8 points per game in the 2008-09 season, but he also missed some time due to injury. A lot will be expected from him once again this year, especially on a team that has had a tough time putting enough talent on the floor. Indiana is one season from dropping well below the salary cap, though, as, in the 2011-12 season, they only have $18.8 million in salaries on the books.
Granger is definitely the leader of an underachieving team, but there could be hope for the future of this franchise if their recent draft picks can develop and they can add a couple of nice free agents next summer. Till then, though, Danny Granger is the main-ticket draw, and the Pacers need him to come back quickly from this injury to lead the team again.