As the Indiana Pacers prepare for what should be their most successful season in years, there is one question that keeps popping up among those who take a long look at the team.
Have the Pacers gone as far as they can go with Danny Granger as their star?
“I don’t believe that,” Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard told HOOPSWORLD. “I don’t buy that at all.”
The way Pritchard sees it, Granger was forced to play a role he was not naturally fit for when the Pacers made him their focal point.
“Danny was put into a position a few years ago where he needed to score a lot and now we don’t need his scoring as much, we need his overall game and he’s a heck of an overall player,” Pritchard said. “That’s what we need out of Danny and he gives it. He’s shown to be very unselfish, he’s given up a lot of his offense to be a better defensive player last year. We got the fifth-best record in the league last year, you don’t just say, “We don’t need him.” That’s a bunch of baloney. I don’t believe that.”
All eyes in Indiana are now on Roy Hibbert, sporting his impressive new contract, and Paul George, who has star potential written all over him.
“I think our growth has to be on those two, partly,” Pritchard said. “I also think George Hill has to expand his game. He’s now a starter, we expect a lot out of him. What we like about him is that he really plays both ways, he can really defend and he makes great decisions on offense. We need that sort of calming influence and he gives it to us.”
There is still plenty of room for the Pacers to grow, despite their success last season. Most of that growth will come internally, but don’t expect Granger to be used to add another significant piece down the road. He is still very much at the heart of what the Pacers are looking to do.