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- The Pacers did not make a move at the trade deadline in large part because they believe their biggest needs – long-range shooting and scoring punch off the bench – will be filled when Danny Granger returns to form. “What Danny Granger brings to the table is everything we could possibly hope to acquire at the trade deadline,” said Coach Frank Vogel. “Hopefully he gets back pretty quickly and returns to his form because if he does it’s really going to give us a big boost.”
- Granger, who has yet to play this season with patellar tendinosis in his left knee, will not play tonight but will travel with the team to Detroit for the rematch Saturday night. “We haven’t ruled him out for (Saturday),” Vogel said.
- The Pistons will be without their second-leading scorer, guard Brandon Knight, out with a hyperextended right knee. Though Knight went through shootaround Friday morning, he was ruled out of the game because “we wanted to make sure 100 percent that he was right,” said Coach Lawrence Frank. Knight may have an MRI tomorrow but could play Saturday against the Pacers. Rodney Stuckey will start in his place tonight.
- Detroit has won four of six, including victories over the Spurs and Bucks, with recently acquired point guard Jose Calderon playing a major role. In the last five, he has averaged 17.4 points and 6.2 assists while shooting 56 percent overall and 69 percent from the 3-point line. “There’s always the domino effect of having a pass-first guy,” Frank said. “He’s got a great spirit about him, which is always healthy at that position, plus he has a veteran’s know-how.”
- With Andre Drummond (back) out, 25-year-old rookie Slava Kravstov has taken advantage of the opportunity for playing time, totaling 52 minutes, 18 points and nine rebounds while hitting nine of 11 shots in the last three games.
- Indiana has won nine in a row from the Pistons at home. Detroit’s last win in Indianapolis came Jan. 29, 2008.
– Conrad Brunner