The Indiana Pacers are closing in on their first Central Division title since the 2003-04 season. It didn’t seem possible two weeks into the season. The Pacers were 3-6 and finding different ways to lose as they were still in shock over the absence of Danny Granger, their leading scorer the past five seasons. He didn’t play the first three months of the season. Then the talk came, according to the players. David West, normally a man of few words, told them it was time to move on. Yes, they missed Granger, but they couldn’t wait for him. “He said, ‘We have to move on and be ready to win games without him,’ ” center Roy Hibbert said. “We haven’t been waiting for him since then. We’ve been going about it like he wasn’t playing at all this year. We want him healthy, of course, but I don’t think we’ve looked back since.” Waiting for Granger would have been the wrong approach. Their focus had to be on the players in uniform, not the injured ones. Currently, that includes West (back). That approach has worked because despite their loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, the Pacers still have a five-game lead on their division counterparts. They’re competing with the New York Knicks for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers host the Atlanta Hawks Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse before starting a four-game trip Wednesday in Houston.
Pacers can't count on Danny Granger's return
Indianapolis Star | Mar 25