Posted November 08, 2012 on
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While the Minnesota Timberwolves have enjoyed some early success without their two top players, the Indiana Pacers continue to struggle offensively minus injured star Danny Granger.
The Timberwolves look to win three in a row by handing the visiting Pacers a third consecutive defeat Friday night.
Even with star Kevin Love sidelined for at least six weeks with a broken right hand and Ricky Rubio recovering from a torn ACL, Minnesota (3-1) is off to a solid start thanks to some quality depth and strong defensive play. Luke Ridnour scored 19 points to lead five Minnesota players in double figures in Wednesday's 90-75 win over Orlando.
Though the Timberwolves don't boast the league's most intimidating offense - scoring more than 92 points once - they have four players averaging at least 11.0, led by third-year forward Nikola Pekovic (14.0). Derrick Williams added 14 on Wednesday as Minnesota used a 28-6 run to break things open.
While the offense has been balanced, it's been a surprisingly strong defense that has paced the Timberwolves' success. Minnesota allowed an average of at least 100 points in each of the past five seasons, but currently ranks among the league leaders giving up 89.0 per contest.
The Timberwolves forced 20 turnovers, recorded 11 steals and blocked nine shots against the Magic. Even without the 6-foot-10 Love, Minnesota is averaging 8.5 blocks.
"We've got a group of guys that is willing to work and wants to do the little things,'' said reserve forward Greg Stiemsma, who had 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes Wednesday. "We know we're going to have to do it every night, especially now that we're a little short-handed. We're not going to make excuses and just go out and play our style.''
As Minnesota looks to match its longest winning stretch from all of last season, Indiana (2-3) must find a way to score without Granger (knee).
After shooting 34.2 percent in a 101-79 loss at San Antonio on Monday, the Pacers were outscored 24-9 in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 89-86 defeat at Atlanta. The result came hours after the team announced Granger would miss up to three months after receiving an injection in his left knee to treat patellar tendinosis.
The All-Star, who has not played a game, averaged a team-leading 18.7 points last season. The Pacers have looked lost without him while averaging 90.0 points and shooting 40.3 percent.
Wednesday's effort was particularly frustrating as the Hawks used an 18-0 run to erase a 14-point fourth-quarter Indiana lead.
"Everybody,'' said Indiana guard George Hill, who scored 20 points. "It starts by everybody holding each other accountable. We've got to figure out what we can do better to be a better team.''
David West, who also had 20, has done his best to carry the scoring load while averaging a team-leading 17.4 points. He scored 22 and pulled down 10 rebounds during a 111-88 home victory over the Timberwolves on April 16.
Indiana has won five of seven against Minnesota, including both meetings last season by a combined 33 points.
BEST OF MAXIM
OH, DANNY BOY
Pacers forward Danny Granger underwent a procedure on his left knee Tuesday and it is expected that he could be out of the lineup for up to three months.
Well, the Indiana Pacers wanted to move up the ladder in the Eastern Conference to compete with the likes of the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics and now they are finding out first hand what that all entails. Persevering through the injuries is part of achieving such success. And now the Pacers will have the next three months to show the rest of the league if they can walk that...
A lot of Pacers fans would like to know what the team would be like without Danny Granger. Well, now they have their wish.The Pacers' leading scorer of the last 5 years has been sidelined for 3 months after undergoing a procedure for his aching left knee. This means Granger won't play again until early January, and knowing that he is a notoriously slow starter, he might not...
Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger will miss three months after undergoing a procedure on his left knee, the team announced Thursday. Granger's injury was described as left patellar tendinosis. The Pacers said he received an injection on Tuesday from Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Without Granger, the Pacers will be searching for offense to offset his loss. Granger...
Indianapolis, IN – Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger could miss up to three months after getting an injection to treat left patellar tendinosis, the Pacers announced Wednesday.
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Danny Granger received an injection on Tuesday to treat left patellar tendinosis.
The Indiana Pacers had high hopes coming into the 2012-13 season after taking the Miami Heat to Game 6 in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
Frank Vogel‘s squad has the talent and depth to pose a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference this season, but the Pacers were dealt a blow on Wednesday when the team announced that small forward Danny Granger will miss three...
While the Pacers have been linked to players such as Mickael Pietrus and Josh Howard this week, they do not have immediate plans to make a roster addition in the wake of Danny Granger's extended absence.
Paul george and David West will have to carry the scoring load.
The Indiana Pacers haven't impressed on the offensive end with Danny Granger sidelined, but they're getting plenty of rebounds and second-chance points to go along with their hard-nosed defense.
That might cause problems for the Atlanta Hawks if Josh Smith is out again.
Playing its fifth game in eight nights, Indiana will try to avoid losing in Atlanta for the 10th straight...
The worst possible news for Danny Granger owners came yesterday when it was announced that he would be sidelined for the next three months with a knee bone problem. Who are your Huckleberries for the next three months in Indiana? You know the drill, Gerald Green, George Hill, Paul George, Roy Hibbert and David West. All should be owned and if Gerald Green isn’t then he should be...