No panic as Pacers slump without Granger
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
Donnie Walsh returned for his second stint as president of the Indiana Pacers this summer thinking he would be running a team that was picking up where it left off last season.
That hasn’t been the case, largely because of the absence of Danny Granger. Granger will miss the first three months of the season with a left knee injury known as “jumper’s knee.” The Pacers are 5-7 heading into Tuesday night’s game against the New Orleans Hornets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The slow start hasn’t caused Walsh to panic and make a hasty roster move.
That’s not his style.
Walsh knows the Pacers can’t replace Granger’s points without a significant trade, and they’re not in the position to make a move like that.
“The guys people are talking about at the level of a Danny Granger, that’s a major trade,” Walsh said. “How are you going to get those players?”
The Pacers have looked at free agents, too, but they can’t find anyone to replace Granger’s production on the outside.
Walsh is frustrated at how the Pacers have lost some of their games this season, but he’s remaining patient. The Pacers have lost four games in the final 30 seconds of regulation this season.
“You never like that, but what we have to do is focus,” Walsh said. “It’s very early in the season. I knew we were going to be playing a lot of games on the road early and then we had the Danny situation, too.
“We’re developing a playing style we can win at. If we lose that game, I’m going to feel good about it, still, because we’re going in the right direction.”
Walsh, who made his first road trip of the season, to New York and Washington, earlier this week, said he feels good about the team despite its current position.
He thinks coach Frank Vogel’s tinkering with the offense last week will help everybody, especially center Roy Hibbert.
The Pacers have been solid defensively all season, leading the league in field goal percentage defense at 39.9%.
Their offense has been a different story.
The Pacers are 28th in the league, shooting 41.0% from the field. David West … [For more on No panic from Donnie Walsh as Pacers slump without Danny Granger, click here.]