After missing the first 55 games of the 2012-2013 NBA season, Danny Granger finally made his return for the Indiana Pacers. However, Granger’s return against the Detroit Pistons was largely disappointing. The eighth-year small forward played only 19 minutes and posted just two points, two rebounds and one assist while shooting just 1-10 from the field and 0-4 from long-range.
For the Pacers, who rank just 20th in league in offensive efficiency at 100.6 points per 100 possessions, they desperately needed to get Granger, arguably their most skilled offensive player, back in the lineup. Having him put up such a poor shooting performance in his first game back on the floor had to be a little bit disheartening. However, they shouldn’t overreact to that disappointment.
There’s no denying that Granger struggled versus the Pistons. But there’s also no denying that Granger hasn’t played basketball at a competitive-level in over four months. Indiana can’t be hyperbolic in their reaction to Granger’s performance on Saturday because it’s going to get better.
Over his 511 career games, Granger has averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game on 43.8 percent field goal shooting and 38.4 percent three-point shooting. That seems like a much more reliable sample to base Granger’s impact for the rest of the season upon than one game where he has a ton of rust to shake off.
The Pacers franchise and Indiana fans shouldn’t be worried about Granger. His first game back on the court definitely fell short of expectations, but chances are that everything will level out and the Pacers will be better for it.