Pacers' Gerald Green gets his shot with Granger out

INDIANAPOLIS - It didn't get to the point where looks of extreme sorrow were up and down the Pacers' faces on Tuesday morning.

But not having Danny Granger for the season opener Wednesday at Toronto leaves bit of a void for a team that has trended upward the past two seasons.

"Its definitely tough," said guard George Hill when he learned that Granger would be out indefinitely as pain continues in his left knee. "It's tough to lose one of your leaders, one of your main guys."

How long that is the case is still to be determined as Granger will get another evaluation on the knee that has kept him on the sidelines most of the preseason.

Once that happens, according to head coach Frank Vogel, a more definite timetable will be set. In the near future, it mean's that Granger's team-leading 18 points per game and 5.2 rebounds a contest along with his veteran leadership will be off the floor for the team.

"We wish him the best," said center Roy Hibbert of Granger. "Hopefully he'll heal up as quickly as possible."

In the meantime Vogel will look to Gerald Green to take Granger's place in the starting lineup. Acquired as a free agent in the off season, the guard is known for his athleticism, high-flying dunks and the ability to shoot from the outside.

"I've played seven games in the preseason and I feel comfortable with the starting unit and I feel comfortable with the bench guys too," said Green of starting. "I feel comfortable with everybody on my team. No matter who you throw out there, I feel comfortable because in practice we're switching up teams constantly."

That could also be a statement for Green himself. Since coming to the league at the age of 20 in 2005 he has bounced around from the NBA to the Developmental League to even stints in Russia and China. Last season he caught on with the Nets, but hasn't played a full NBA season since 2006-2007.

Having the opportunity to prove his worth so early has been embraced by Green yet he doesn't want it to seem like he is fully stepping in for the forward.

"There is only one Danny Granger, I'm definitely not replacing him. He'll be back soon and I know my role is still going to be the same," said Green. "Just going in, still be aggressive, take open shots when I have it, play defense, run the floor and just try to create a lot of energy on offense and defense."

 

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