The Indiana Pacers have been waiting for former All-Star forward Danny Granger to get healthy so he could give them an even more formidable attack against the rest of the Eastern Conference in the upcoming playoffs. Granger had missed the majority of the season after battling patellar tendinosis.
He returned to the team on Feb. 25 and played in five games but hadn't played since March 3, when he went scoreless in eight minutes against the Chicago Bulls. The Pacers had hoped that he would return to action on Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks, but the team announced that Granger will have surgery on his problematic left knee and miss the rest of the season.
The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday that forward Danny Granger will miss the remainder of the season to undergo surgery on his left knee.
The decision was made after all conservative treatment options could not alleviate the soreness Granger encountered. After consultation between Granger, the Pacers' medical staff and Dr. James Andrews, surgery became the preferred option.
This isn't great news for Granger and his Pacers teammates, but it does give them a definitive answer on whether he was going to be back and healthy to help them in the playoffs. Heading into this season, Granger had led the team in scoring for five straight seasons. Although he has been the leader of this team for years, his scoring average and effectiveness have regressed every season since the 2008-09 campaign.
Without Granger as a weapon, the Pacers will continue to lean on the frontcourt of Roy Hibbert, David West and Paul George. George emerged as an All-Star in Granger's absence this season, and West has helped carry the team all season long. Hibbert had a very slow start to the year, but he has been one of the best rim protectors in the NBA all season long. Recently, he has come out and been very vocal about his teammates' focus after nearly blowing a huge lead to the Hawks earlier this week.
The Pacers will need the leadership of all three guys in the playoffs, as they attempt to challenge the Miami Heat for a berth in The Finals for the first time since 2000.