On March 3, 2013, the Indiana Pacers beat the Chicago Bulls 97-92. In the game, Pacers small forward Danny Granger took three shots and missed all of them. He played just eight minutes and one second. That was 292 days ago. On December 20, 2013, Granger returns to competitive basketball after months of anticipation.
Granger missed all but five games last season due to knee injuries, and has been sidelined this season with a strained right calf since October 18.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel described the role in which Granger will come into:
“We’ll take all the backup wing minutes and give those to Danny and let him work his way in and we’ll take it from there,” Vogel said. “Just playing Danny Granger 10 minutes a game is probably not enough.”
The coach added that he hopes the addition of Granger to the rotation will help limit minutes of Paul George, so the starter is not “close to 40 minutes a game.”
George, who averages over 37 minutes per contest acknowledged that the help of Granger will allow him some extended time on the bench.
“The only thing is it gives me rest,” George said. “I think that’s the biggest positive for me. It’ll give me some time to get on the bench and take some time off when I need to.”
As Scott Agness of Pacers.com noted, the former All-Star will be on a minutes restriction of 15-20 minutes to start out.
“There’s no way to simulate the game intensity, game adrenaline so I’m sure that’ll feel differently for him and there’s going to be an adjustment period while he gets used to that again,” Vogel said.
Granger, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Pacers, posts career averages of 18.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.