The Los Angeles Clippers had newly acquired former NBA All-Star Danny Granger available for the first time since signing him as they faced the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. In a matchup between two teams currently slated to make it to the postseason, there was a bit of intrigue about what Granger could contribute considering his fall from grace due to injuries in recent years.
However, the Clippers found a hot-hand on a night where they were short-handed in the form of forward Matt Barnes. Barnes got the start on Tuesday night and he was feeling it on the offensive end of the floor. The veteran tough-guy put up 28 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 40 minutes while shooting 12-17 from the floor and 4-7 from long-distance.
As a result of Barnes playing so well at the position, though, Granger barely got to see any time during the contest. He was on the floor for just four minutes, notching just one rebound, one turnover and one shot attempt; he missed on his lone field goal attempt, a three.
While Granger was hardly integral to the Clippers’ 104-96 win over Phoenix on Tuesday, this game shouldn’t be looked at as a blueprint for how Los Angeles plans to utilize their new acquisition going forward. Granger could still very well play an important and much larger role with this team.
Tuesday night was undoubtedly about the Clippers riding the hot hand, as well as the team still integrating Granger into their system and into what they would like to do. Going forward, don’t expect Granger to be a guy at the end of the bench getting minimal minutes. Instead, look for the Clippers to see if he has anything left in the tank and if can contribute to their title hopes.