TV: League Pass
- Danny Granger will make his home debut tonight, looking to improve on his 1-for-10 outing in the Pacers’ 90-72 rout of Detroit Saturday. “His shot-making’s going to take time,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “I’m not setting any expectations he’s going to go 9-for-10 tonight but I saw him do it in practice last week so it’s there. It’s just going to be a matter of time before he gets going in games.” Granger will be limited to 15-20 minutes off the bench for the time being, with Vogel targeting a possible return to the starting lineup in “about two weeks.
- The Pacers have won four in a row by at least 18 points, holding opponent to averages of 80.5 points, .336 shooting overall and .195 from the arc while outscoring them by an average of 27 points. Indiana has won nine of 11 to move into second place in the East, but nine of those 11 were home games – as are four of the next five. After that comes a stretch with nine of 13 on the road, where they’ve struggled to a 12-16 record.
- The Warriors have two strong candidates for postseason awards – both former Pacers – in Mark Jackson for Coach of the Year and Jarrett Jack for Sixth Man. In Jackson’s second season, the Warriors have produced a 30-game turnaround, from 20 games under .500 last year to 10 games over heading into tonight’s game. Jackson shrugs off such talk. “This is a players’ league. It always has been and it always will be,” he said. “At the end of the day my ownership group and management did an outstanding job of improving our talent level via the draft, via trades, via free agency. We’ve got a group that’s tied together, that enjoys one another and is the best group that I’ve ever been around. They’ve been a joy to coach.”
- Jack averages 13.8 points and 6.0 assists but has been on a roll of late. In the Warriors’ three-game win streak he has averaged 24.7 points and 7.3 assists off the bench. “A lot of people point to this kind of statistical run I’ve been on but I just try to be consistent,” Jack said. “I try to come in and give my team a lift when it’s needed, when it’s necessary and where it’s necessary. That’s the difference with me and most other quote-unquote sixth men. I try to come in and make the necessary plays, regardless if it’s scoring, playmaking, being vocal.”
- Center Andrew Bogut (back spasms) is not with the team and there is no timetable for his return. “We’ll play it by ear, as we have been, continue to be patient,” Jackson said. “He’ll continue to get treatment, continue to rehab and when he’s ready we’ll welcome him back but until then we’re not going to rush him.”
- The Warriors open a stretch of four games in five nights tonight, all on the road but once this trip concludes the schedule turns markedly in their favor. Golden State finishes with 16 of its final 22 at home, where it is 18-7.
- The Warriors have bounced back nicely from a six-game losing streak with three straight wins, including an overtime conquest of the Spurs. They are sixth in the West, headed toward the first playoff berth since 2007 – and second since 1994. “We lost six in a row and people thought, ‘It’s a wrap; the fairy tale is over’,” Jackson said. “We’re not going anywhere.”
– Conrad Brunner