The Indiana Pacers have been one of the biggest threats in the Eastern Conference to the Miami Heat this season. The biggest reason is due to the team knowing all of their roles in head coach Frank Vogel‘s system. They have proved to be a hard-nosed team with guys willing to do whatever it takes to win.
One of the most consistent pieces to the Pacers over the years has been forward Danny Granger. This year he has struggled to stay healthy and at one point had hopes of returning to his team. Unfortunately it was announced today that Granger will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury that will require surgery.
If healthy, Granger is a phenomenal “glue guy.” He’s one who can do just about anything asked of him. Offensively, he knows how to get to the basket and finish. Defensively, he has always been consistent as well.
If the Pacers want to continue their run at Miami in the East, they are going to have to do it without their proven leader. It hasn’t been a problem so far this year as they have had plenty of guys to step up. David West and Roy Hibbert have helped Indiana stay atop the NBA in total rebounding as well as be consistent defensive forces in the paint.
George Hill, Paul George and Lance Stephenson have been important players for the Pacers as well. George, specifically, has kind of taken on the role of Granger in a way being able to act as the well-rounded player that Granger consistently was.
Not that Miami would rejoice at this news, but they sure may feel a bit more confident about their chances of repeating as Eastern Conference Champions after hearing this news. For the Pacers, it will just continue to be more of the same: To win as a complete team.