|Danny Granger hasn't been shy about going after LeBron and Wade. (Getty Images)|
Danny Granger claims he's just trying to send a message that the Indiana Pacers won't be bullied. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade aren't seeing it that way.
Granger has picked up technical fouls in three straight games for going at LeBron and Wade following whistles.
LeBron though went as far to call Granger's baiting tactics "stupid." Via ESPN.com:
"Whatever he's trying, it is not working," James said Tuesday. "He's said he's not scared of LeBron, I want to let (James) know. I guess he's doing it for his own psyche. It's stupid."
Said Wade: "I'm all for standing up for your guys, but certain things you just can't keep doing. My message to Granger was that you just can't keep running up into people's faces for altercations. We're not fighting on this basketball court, so let's not act like we're going to fight. We can be physical and do all that, but certain things got to stop. Are you out here to play basketball or are you out here to be a tough guy?"
Granger and the Pacers have preached physicality and obviously intend to talk the talk and walk the walk. Of course there's a line between tough, clean hard play and being silly. However, LeBron's hands aren't entirely clean as with two of the incidents, LeBron very clearly raised an elbow in Granger's direction, once slightly swinging without connecting.
"I just think we have to send a message as a team that we won't back down," Granger said following Game 4. "They are media darlings of the NBA right now. They get a lot of publicity right now. It basically says that Indiana basketball is about playing tough, playing every possession. We're really not afraid of anybody."
The Pacers have been exceedingly chippy, and even a little brash as evidenced by Lance Stephenson flashing a "choke" sign in LeBron's direction after a missed free throw. Juwan Howard confronted Stephenson about that and the two had a verbal altercation prior to Game 4.
"Nobody is fighting on the basketball court. C'mon," LeBron said. "I'm not going to fight because I mean too much to our team and I can't afford to be suspended for a game or do something stupid to get thrown out of a playoff game."