Danny Granger has battled knee soreness all preseason and it has now lingered into the regular season. While the Indiana Pacers will miss his scoring and leadership to start the 2012-13 campaign, I think it may actually be a good thing in the big picture.
Paul George has taken on the pressure of being the team’s “X-Factor.” He knows that how he plays night in and night out will reflect directly on the team’s success. The only problem is, George has been playing out of position since he joined the Pacers out of college. He is a natural SF, not a big SG.
While Granger mends that troublesome left knee of his, Paul will finally get to play his natural position. He’ll be asked to do more than he’s ever had to do in the past. Judging by his comments on media day, he seems ready for the challenge. “I feel like there’s a lot riding on me,” George said on the eve of training camp. “I like the pressure. I like to be in the situation I’m in. I worked hard the whole summer to get better at my game. I’m the ‘X’ factor.”
The loss of Granger will also give youngsters Gerald Green and Lance Stephenson more minutes early this season, something that could pay dividends later in the year. The Pacers lost a lot of depth this past summer…added playing time for these guys could be huge.
Back to Paul George…he grew two inches last offseason. This past summer, he seems to have grown in other ways.
Now the team needs him to grow even more this upcoming season. Forget being an X-Factor, it’s time Paul show that All-Star potential.
He is the future at SF in Indiana…..and this November should be a preview of coming star attractions.