No, Indiana probably doesn’t have much of a chance to win a playoff series this spring. But that won’t stop some of their players from speculating. Say what you want about Indiana’s Danny Granger, but he spoke his mind yesterday. Granger told Mike Wells of IndyStar.com that playing against the Celtics, no matter how creaky they might be right now, is a whole lot worse than playing against a Bulls team where everything revolves around one player.
“Boston’s a different monster,” he said. “They don’t have the best record in the East, but they won championships; they know how to do it. They have four, five guys you have to worry about.
“Chicago, they go as Derrick Rose goes. If you make a concerted effort to stop Derrick Rose, you have a better chance to beat them.”
In reality, Granger’s probably kidding himself if he thinks the Pacers can beat either team in the playoffs. But now that they know the playoff road will start in Chicago, it’ll be interesting to see if he can back up those statements. For a young, inexperienced team like Indiana, maybe Chicago – despite their first-place finish in the East – really is the better matchup than the faltering Celtics. But when you see that Rose has averaged 27 points a game against the Pacers this year, including 42 in their last meeting, it’s hard to say that “stopping” him is going to be any easier for the Pacers than beating Boston.
Should Granger, averaging 20.5 points a game this year, be happy they are getting the top-seeded Bulls? In eight games against the Bulls and Celtics this year, Indiana failed to reach 90 points in every game except for two…which happened to be the last two times they played Chicago and Boston. The Pacers won a March 18 game, 115-108, against Chicago and more recently, beat the Celtics 107-100 at the end of March.
Yet for Granger, it really hasn’t mattered which of the two they’ve played. He hasn’t exactly lit it up, shooting just 33 percent on the season against the two defensive powerhouses.
Would you rather play Chicago or Boston?
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