Danny Granger scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Indiana Pacers Game 1 loss to the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic on Saturday, which really isn't all that terrible. He did have five turnovers however, missed 13 shots overall, and clanked a couple free throws late to cap off a personally awful fourth quarter which led directly to his team losing though which kind of is terrible.
On Sunday, Granger did speak up and take responsibility for his poor fourth quarter performance which is really all you can ask from the guy at this point.
Those comments first from the following update by Pacers beat-man Mike Wells to his Sullia Account:
Danny Granger had a brutal fourth quarter. His line the final quarter was: 0 for 3, zero points, three rebounds and two turnovers. He also clanked two free throws late. "Real tough," Granger said. "I can't remember the last time I missed two free throws. I closed out a lot of games in my career. It happens."
As bad as he played down the stretch, there is never one play, or even one quarter, that completely decides a seven-game series in the NBA Playoffs. That is why the NBA format features a seven-game playoff series. They hate Cinderella. Well that, and the fact that they feast off the television revenues that a prolonged first round series generates, but that is besides the point.
Game Two will be a separate animal unto itself, and Granger has the opportunity to respond quickly later on when tonight when things get back underway.
As they are currently comprised, the Magic are only good enough to hang around in this series on a game-to-game basis and hope the better team makes enough mistakes to give them a chance at the victory down the stretch. While Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, and Glen Davis did play well in Game One, scoring 17, 17, and 16 points each respectively, that is essentially what happened this weekend. Stan Van Gundy is a great coach too, but despite all that, Orlando doesn't win that game without the miscues late from Granger.
Assuming he plays the way he's capable of in Game Two, the Pacers should even things up tonight and go on to still win this series. So long as Granger and the rest of the Pacers shake this thing off as quickly as they let the first one get away that is.
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