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Every time he comes to town, Danny Granger drudges up an uneasy past.
It happened again Friday night.
It wasn't so much the 27 points he scored to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 115-109 victory over the Magic, but the recurring memory of the Magic bypassing him in the 2005 draft to take long-lost Fran Vazquez, who is still playing in Spain.
"Yes, they are one of the teams that let me slide past," Granger said. "But everything worked out for the best — at least for me it did."
When the Magic took Vazquez, who was playing in Europe, with the No. 11 pick that year, Granger kept sliding, finally falling to the Pacers at No. 17.
It's a draft the Magic would like to forget. Just like the game Friday night when a woeful-shooting fourth quarter — coupled with the earlier hot shooting of Granger — put a damper on their fast start this season.
Granger, now in his third NBA season, has become the Pacers' leading scorer (17.8 ppg). Although they were picked to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, they have joined the Magic as one of the league's surprises. Granger is the biggest reason why.
Like the Magic (16-5), the Pacers (10-10) have shown resiliency, playing better on the road (6-4) than at home (4-6) this season.
"We heard what people were saying about us, but we knew we were better than that," Granger said. "We're not settling for being good. We want to be great, even if no one else thinks we can be."
Granger has become proof that gems can be found in the middle of the draft. Coming out of the University of New Mexico, Granger left teams nervous about his surgically-repaired right knee.
He finished his college career at less than 100 percent because he returned too quickly after surgery. The knee was slightly swollen when he did his pre-draft workouts.
"It was disappointing for the way I fell in the draft, but looking back now, I guess it was understandable," he said. "It's part of my history."
On Friday, Granger was both hot and cold. He hit six of seven shots from 3-point range, but he missed badly on a dunk late in the game. And he missed two other shots from close range.
He had four steals, two blocks and several deflections, causing problems for the Magic attack with his long, active arms in the passing lanes.
"Danny had 15 deflections. I've been keeping deflection stats for 25 years, and I've never seen anyone play 15 deflections, meaning he's getting his hands on a lot of balls," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "If he stops missing layups, he's going to be a player."
DAG GUM IT! Danny is my favorite player and the Pacers beat the Magic, and I didn't get to see it!
I'm having nothing but trouble trying to watch a Pacer game lately. Last game against Phoenix I turned on league pass and both channels 753 and 754 showed Detroit playing Atlanta. (Comcast Florida) Indiana was supposed to play Phoenix on 754.
I thought it strange, but was sure they would show the right games, but then both channels started showing Detroit and Atlanta. So I phoned Comcast and they finally got it straightened out midway of the first quarter.
The Orlando game I didn't get to see, period!
I have it set up so I can watch TV and be on my computer at the same time. I like that because I can watch the game on the TV and see the stats on my computer.
I was messing around on the computer waiting for the game to start on League Pass when I noticed it was 7:05, and the game hadn't come on. Curious, I started flipping channels. When I came back to the League Pass channel that had the Pacer's and Magic listed, all I got was a blank screen.
It took me a second but then I remembered the Pacers were playing a Florida team so no doubt it was being televised by a Florida station. I changed channels to the one that usually televises Magic games, (SUNB) but they were showing a football game. Uh-Oh!
I went to a online site that has a tv-guild and it said another Florida station (FSNFL) was televising the game. My relief was short lived, FSNFL was showing old NFL highlites. ^#%&%#$!!!!!
Mad, I started watching the live game stats on NBA.com.
With the Pacers down ten in the first half, and throughly disgusted, I turned the computer off and went to bed.
Six hours later I get online expecting a twenty point Pacer loss, only to see the headline, Granger leads Pacers by Magic, 115-109.
GREAT! I decided I would watch the replay on NBA broadband.
NBA.com won't recognize my Comcast league Pass account.
Now I read Danny had 15 deflections and hit 6/7 three pointers!
EDIT; Oh, one more thing. I won't be able to see the Cleveland game this coming Tuesday either. I just looked at the Pacers schedule and the game is on NBATV, and Comcast down here in Florida doesn't include it with League Pass. It's in a Sports Package and costs extra.
Last edited by Will Galen; 12-08-2007 at 04:00 AM.