A nationally televised game hosting the Houston Rockets was a perfect time to have a strong bounce back game after losing their first home game of the year, and falling to the rival Heat in Miami, and boy did they. A 33-point rout of the Rockets in Danny Granger‘s return had the home crowd reeling, and noticeably played mad after losing two games they really should have won. After blowing out a good team like Houston, maybe they should play mad more often.
The story of the night was the return of Granger, who was making his season debut after missing the beginning month and a half of the season with a strained calf. Granger was rusty as expected, but was excited to be back on the floor, as were the fans.
Larry Bird told Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star that the team looked complete with Granger Friday night, and I think that’s an understatement. Sure they were playing mad, but the way they played made it seem like Granger was the missing piece. He didn’t do too much in 23 minutes, but you could see it in his teammates and the crowd that they can reach their full potential with Granger back, and that’s exciting. As long as he stays healthy, they could really give Miami a challenge in the expected Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the two.
Friday night’s win over Houston was a huge bounce back win for Indiana, and with Granger back in the lineup, they could continue to improve in the coming weeks. The question in Indiana is what they will do by the February 20 trade deadline, but for now, they’ve just got to keep playing and we’ll see what happens. At this point, it’s pretty hard to predict what Bird and the Pacers will do, so misewell just sit back and enjoy the show.