from today's Wells article.
Jim O'Brien didn't mince his words.
Leading scorer Danny Granger will miss at least a month with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot, and there is only one way the reeling Indiana Pacers can compete without him, much less salvage their season.
Push the tempo, make open 3-point shots and move without the ball.
Play more like last season, in other words, when they averaged 105 points per game.
"I don't think 97 points (a game) is going to make it with our basketball team," the Pacers coach said Tuesday. "It might work if we had a different group of players. We are individually not good enough to slow it down and play paint by numbers."Granger tore his plantar fascia, a thick sheet of connected tissue that covers the arch on the bottom of the foot, in the third quarter of Saturday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He won't have surgery and will begin rehabilitation immediately. He could miss up to six weeks, as many as 25 games.
Granger did not talk to the media Tuesday as he left Conseco Fieldhouse on crutches and wearing a walking boot.
"It's tough; you never want to see anybody get hurt," point guard T.J. Ford said. "You definitely want everybody to play 82 games. Is that realistic on an NBA team? I don't think so. Hopefully he can get healthy because we're definitely going to need him down the stretch."
Granger's injury comes at a time when the schedule gets easier: Just five of the Pacers' next 15 games are against teams with winning records.
Even with Granger, the Pacers have lost nine of their past 10. Collectively, they'll have to overcome the loss of Granger's 24.4 points per game. They were 9-6 without him last season.
"You hate to lose anybody, certainly Danny, who is an All-Star caliber player, and to lose him leaves a big hole that cannot be filled by any individual," O'Brien said. "It has to be filled by the collective group.
"When it comes right down to it, you have to go out and win basketball games with whoever you have playing."
O'Brien plans to start Brandon Rush after moving him to the bench for lack of production last week. Dahntay Jones will slide to Granger's spot at small forward.
"It's a big hit and we have to try to stay focused because we need a win bad," Rush said. "It's definitely a good feeling that (O'Brien) still has confidence in me and everybody has confidence in me. I just have to stay ready and stay confident."
O'Brien isn't ready to start Mike Dunleavy (knee). He still is limited to about 20 minutes a game and O'Brien wants him available late in close games.
The Pacers will use a small lineup featuring two point guards more frequently, and Luther Head, who is averaging 15 minutes a game, will be the second swingman off the bench.The Pacers said the ball will move more without Granger because they have had the tendency to watch him instead of cutting.
"We're 6-12. We just need to play better," Dunleavy said. "That's the bottom line. Hopefully it emphasizes we need to get back to our offensive ways again. Running, pushing the ball and moving; not relying on one guy standing. Maybe we'll get a positive out of it. We're going to have to find a way."
Translation: If the front office would let him Jim O'Brien would like to trade Roy Hibbert for Brian Cardinal.
Honestly I can't say if this is just becomeing more cliche' or a sad joke. Can anyone tell me the circumstance in which O'Brien would say that we need to get some size and play a more deliberate style to maximize opprotunities?
Raise your hands if you didn't think you would hear that we were going to go small? Our center goes down we need to go small, our small forward goes down we need to go small our point guard is down we need to go small.
I'm pretty sure if you asked him what the solution to the conflict in the Middle East he would determine a way to go small and get up more shots.