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- With Danny Granger out approximately three weeks with a left calf strain, rookie Solomon Hill and second-year pro Orlando Johnson each will get looks with the second unit. “We’re going to look at both of those guys,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “Still not a ton of minutes there. Still going to play Paul (George) pretty heavy minutes and Lance (Stephenson) will be up there with starter minutes but it’s important to develop both of those guys. Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland are still options at the wing spot but we’re going to go with those two guys.”
- Granger’s injury, which kept him out of the final three preseason games, cements Stephenson’s place in the starting lineup for at least the short-term. Whenever Granger does come back he will have to regain conditioning and rhythm. The good news is the surgically repaired left knee has not been the problem, and the three-week window may be open a little wider than necessary. “I think three weeks is hopefully the longer end of what we expect it to be,” Vogel said. “Hopefully he’s back sooner than that. … It’s just a matter of when he can move out there without pain.”
- Indiana will stick with the same starting lineup of last season, with George Hill at point, Stephenson at shooting guard, George at small forward, David West at power forward and Roy Hibbert at center.
- Victor Oladipo’s first NBA regular-season game will be in familiar territory, just 75 miles from the Indiana University campus. The Magic’s top pick has played both guard spots, averaging 13.9 points, 4.6 assists and 1.63 steals (and 3.3 turnovers) during the preseason. “I think this is a great challenge for him,” Coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Family’s here, coaches are here, friends are here. Can you give all that energy toward your teammates and toward your team?”
- Oladipo will come off the bench, with Jameer Nelson at point, Arron Afflalo at shooting guard, Mo Harkless at small forward, Jason Maxiell at small forward and Nik Vucevic at center.
- Orlando is without forwards Glen Davis (left foot) and Tobias Harris (sprained left ankle), while guard Doron Lamb (sprained right ankle is doubtful).
- Conrad Brunner