Danny Granger finally got to see some meaningful minutes Thursday night with the Clippers.
Granger’s first two games with the team were essentially dress rehearsals for the nearly 18 minutes he played in a 48-point rout of the Lakers at Staples Center.
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But after producing 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting and adding two rebounds, Granger showed he can be an effective producer once he gets up to speed with his new team.
‘You could tell, even though he played really well in the second half, it’s going to be a rhythm thing,’ Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. ‘It’s going to take a while. I’m going to be very patient with Danny. I just think it’s going to take a while for him to really get going, but you could see some of the things he can do for us.’
The Clippers signed Granger last week after he was bought out of his contract by the Philadelphia 76ers, who had acquired the 6-foot-9 small forward on Feb. 21 from the Indiana Pacers. Granger, 30, was a one-time All-Star with the Pacers, but knee and leg injuries reduced him to just 34 games the previous two seasons.
Even his Clippers debut was stalled. He was scratched from appearing in his first game last Saturday when game officials noticed a lineup gaffe, and he played only 3 minutes 46 seconds Tuesday night in Phoenix, recording one rebound.
Granger was active on the court Thursday against the Lakers but at times looked to be in the wrong spot. Practice and minutes should take care of that.
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‘I don’t think you take two years off, then play sparingly and then just walk in our league and play well,’ Rivers said. ‘Our whole goal for him is, if we can get him right by the playoffs, we’ll be very happy.’
That’s the plan. If Granger gets his conditioning in order, he could be moved into the starting five, allowing Rivers to move Matt Barnes back with the second unit, where he has thrived. But Barnes has been hot of late, making 23 of his past 46 three-point shots. He scored 17 against the Lakers and added 12 rebounds.
Rivers is also finding valuable minutes for Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, who was signed Feb. 24 after being bought out by the Orlando Magic.
Davis scored 10 points in 18Â½ minutes but needed a breather in the second half.
‘Baby’s lungs exploded at some point, so we had to take him out,’ Rivers joked after the game.