Even without Granger, Pacers showing signs of life



INDIANAPOLIS

Give the Indiana Pacers credit. They have a survival instinct, after all.

Granted, one game above .500 isn’t what we — or they — envisioned heading into the season. But in light of circumstances, it’s a whole lot better than where they seemed to be going.

Which was down the drain. In a hurry.

A season filled with promise started as a colossal disappointment. First came the announcement Danny Granger would not be ready to play. Then came the jolt the Pacers weren’t ready to play without him.

Looking lost and confused, the Pacers started 4-7. During a particularly sorry stretch in early November, they lost five of six games and, along with them, much of the fan capital they banked during last year’s playoff run.

In a flash, the anticipation of bigger and better things was gone. A team that returned every starter and, perhaps more importantly, added critical pieces to the bench had taken backward steps.

True, sailing conditions weren’t going to be idyllic without Granger. But no one forecast an ongoing gale that would render the otherwise well-equipped Pacers helpless.

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