Danny Granger’s Biggest Hurdle With Los Angeles Clippers May Be Mental
Danny Granger hasn’t looked the same since returning from several knee injuries and subsequent surgeries while with the Indiana Pacers. The former NBA All-Star (2009) averaged only 8.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting only 35.9 percent from the floor and 33 percent from three in 29 games off the bench for the Pacers before being traded at the deadline to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Now the 76ers have agreed to a buyout with Granger for this season and the talk of the league in recent days has been about where the forward plans to sign once he clears waivers. That seems to be getting cleared up, though. According to reports initiated by Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star, that Granger plans to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
If Granger can play well off of the bench for the Clippers, particularly with J.J. Redick still sidelined, it could do wonders for their chances of making it to the NBA Finals and even possibly capturing an NBA Championship. That’s if everything works out, though, which remains to be seen.
Granger doesn’t need to be the 20-plus-points-per-game scorer that he was in his glory days with Indiana as he joins the Clippers, but he’ll obviously need to be better than he was in his time with the Pacers this season. Some of that may be getting more accustomed to playing with the physical limitations that come along with his surgically repaired knee; an even bigger part of it may be coming to terms with his new role as a presence off of the bench.
We aren’t able to do a complete psychoanalysis of Granger, you have to imagine it’s difficult for a player who was once the alpha-dog on a team to come back to action after a slew of injuries and no longer be the go-to guy. Perhaps that’s a major reason why he was unsuccessful this season up to now. The question that remains is if a change in scenery will help remedy that at all.
The Clippers aren’t looking for an alpha-dog in Granger. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin already have that niche covered for this team. However, they are in need of someone who can help aid Jamal Crawford off of the bench, something that the Hedo Turkoglu’s of the world haven’t done for them this year. It’s hard to believe Granger’s ability has depleted to the level of his performance this season, which makes it seem like his mentality is what’s holding him back. We’ll soon find out if Doc Rivers and the Clips have the remedy for that apparent issue.