Danny Granger will be returning this season after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Coming into the season, the Indiana Pacers are faced with a somewhat tough decision: Start Granger, or put him on the bench for Lance Stephenson (Stephenson would start at SG and Paul George would slide over to SF).
I’m not sure what Indiana will do here, but here’s what I think they should do.
I say having Granger come off the bench is the best option for this team. Granger isn’t necessarily the youngest guy out there, and with some weaker knees, reduced playing time might help extend his career and lower the risk of re-injuring that knee.
Also, this puts a scoring threat on the bench that very few could match up with in the league. Being deep at small forward (which they would be with Granger and George) is very important when guys like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Durant come to town.
Another reason this makes sense is Indiana would have the same starting lineup as last season. The starting lineup that would exist if Granger was on the bench would be the same as last year’s making it so the team wouldn’t need to build any chemistry which just gets them one step ahead of the game. Also, doing this invests into the future of Stephenson. He will likely be a member of the Pacers longer than Granger will be, so giving him starting minutes to improve and mature as a player could be very rewarding down the line.
Either way, the Pacers will be a very good team next season. However, I see the team being more successful with Lance Stephenson starting and Danny Granger coming off the bench.