From 2007-2012, Danny Granger was the proverbial “goods.” The Go-to guy in Indiana that the Pacers were building around. Even after injuries took Granger out of the game and allowed Paul George to take over as number one option, Pacer optimists believed he’d be a part of one of the best one-two punches on the perimeter ever. Think the Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter show with both of them in their primes. Something like that.
Enter Lance Stephenson’s semi surprising development and there’s a new discussion: can Granger be a sixth man on a team where he was once thee man?
We’ll never know if Granger would have made a transition from franchise player, to star, to sixth man in Indy. But now, since he’s signed to the Los Angeles Clippers, by way of Philadelphia, he has the chance to reemerge from his broken on-court image. Much like his often noted favorite Capped Crusader did in The Dark Knight Rises, Granger has the opportunity to regain his importance by saving a group that desperately needs it
Early on in the season, it seamed as though the Clippers would be the Oklahoma City’s number one challenge out west. The signing of Doc Rivers, another season of the parring between Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, were all signs that the Clippers would grow from an entertaining out in the playoffs, to a legit title contender. Only the death of Lob City never happened and Rivers’ defensive schemes just haven’t translated with his current roster.
Since the Clippers can’t commit to the defensive end of the floor, signing Granger, a proven scorer, might have been the best thing to resurge title aspirations. When healthy, Granger’s an 18.5 ppg scorer. Whether he comes in off the bench or Rivers decides to start him, with Griffin, Paul and insta-offense Jamal Crawford, Granger won’t be asked to shoulder nearly that much of the scoring responsibilities. Also, considering that LAC also just brought in Glen “Big Baby” Davis, it’s obvious their thinking of the immediate future and building a team for a title run.
The only issue here is whether Granger is actually healthy. Perhaps the Pacers knew something about him that other organizations don’t. Or maybe they thought he was expendable considering their size and the aforementioned growth of Stephenson. But if Granger is ready, the Clippers, who currently sit in fourth place and are four games behind the Thunder in the Western Conference, have so many options. Go with a bigger lineup and play Granger at the two, go with depth and bring him off the bench or simply make him situational (think Manu in San Antonio) and start him when needed. Barring injury, new or lingering, the acquisition of Granger just resurrected the hopes of a city.
Hopefully he answers that Bat-signal come playoff time.