Danny Granger Aiming To HEAT Up
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
It doesn’t seem that long ago when Danny Granger was leading the Indiana Pacers into the playoffs against the Miami HEAT. Fast forward to the present amidst a new era for the HEAT organization and now Granger has the word “HEAT” across his chest.
“It was kind of strange,” Granger said. “You know we battled the HEAT so many years playing up in Indiana. It’s just a very unique team that we’ve assembled here.”
“I’ve been on the other side of the fence so many times and to have them on your side is something special.”
Granger averaged 13.3 points in that 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinal round against Miami, which the HEAT ultimately won in six games. The former All-Star has since played for the Los Angeles Clippers before agreeing to a deal with the HEAT in free agency.
One of the main reasons why Granger, who is a career 38.1 percent three-point shooter, signed with the HEAT is because of the “Pace and Space” offensive system that Erik Spoelstra runs.
“I studied how hard it is to guard the three-point line when they’re moving the ball and spacing and everybody’s touching the ball,” Granger said. “It’s a very difficult offense to guard so now that I’m in it, I’m trying to learn it and hopefully I’ll be very efficient in it.”
A few injuries have plagued Granger recently, but he hasn’t let that hinder his progress. He has been working and training since the day after Labor Day Weekend and even before then Spoelstra saw him in L.A. and said he “was already in good physical shape.”
All the hard work has seemed to pay off for Granger, who has been able to go through everything with no limitations in the first four days of training camp.
“I just like the fact that he’s out here, he’s healthy, he’s feeling great about his body, he’s going through great fatigue of his legs which is a terrific sign,” Spoelstra said. “It’s not fatigue or pain with his knee. It’s fatigue from working every single day, twice a day, that he hasn’t been able to do in I don’t know how many years. That’s a great sign.”
Another great sign for Miami is that Granger seems to have a chip on his shoulder, which can also be said for most of the team.
“A lot of people have written me off due to my injury, which is fine with me,” Granger said. “It’s just a matter of me getting healthy and me doing what I can do and I’m confident in myself. I always have been and I intend to show it.”
That’s exactly what Granger did in the Red, White & Pink Game presented by Baptist Health Breast Center on Wednesday night. Granger scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting and dished out four assists, as he continued to show the progress he’s been making in his recovery.
During the game in an interview with Jason Jackson, Granger seemed excited about his new home.
“I’m glad to be here. It’s a great organization,” Granger said. “I love Miami.”
Stats from the Red, White & Pink Game are unofficial