Danny Granger Q&A: On health, bonding and return to Indiana

Miami Heat forward Danny Granger has played 16 games since he signed with the Heat in July due to his knee injury.

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MIAMI, Fla. — Danny Granger may not have played much at the start of the season because he was hard at work behind-the-scenes to get his body and his knees stronger. That hard work and dedication has paid off for the Miami Heat, who are now getting solid production and some much-needed scoring off the bench from the nine-year veteran.

But how is the bigger role on the team affected his conditioning and his overall health? FOXSportsFlorida.com caught up with Granger just before the team departed for their lengthy West Coast road trip to get a better idea of how he has adjusted to playing in Miami and how far he’s coming along health-wise.

FOX SPORTS FLORIDA: How is your body responding to the extra minutes now that you’re getting consistent playing time versus what you were doing in the beginning of the season just rehabbing and getting in shape?

Regardless of whether I was coming off an injury or not, whenever you have extra minutes there’s an adjustment process. Thankfully, I’ve always been constantly strengthening and constantly working my body. I’m adjusting well to it. It is different and it’s welcome. I like it. Whatever they need me for, I’ll do. But I’m adjusting well.

FSF: Has the training staff modified your workouts and training program as the season progresses?

Yeah, and I consistently have to keep my body strong. That’s the key that I’ve learned, that I always have to do, no matter what, is constantly train my body and train my legs to withstand the rigors of playing 28 or 29 minutes a game. I’m not saying I always play that, but to be able to withstand that. It’s funny, once your body gets to where you’re used to playing at, then it’s nothing. It’s just amazing what your body does — it adjusts.

FSF: What has been the biggest benefit when you’re playing now from all of this work that you’ve been doing off the court?

Yeah, it’s helped everything. I think working on my base — getting my base stronger — has helped my shot, it’s helped my jumping and it’s helped my lateral movement. Losing the 10 pounds has helped me a lot as well. I still have the same strength that I have so I think all of those things helped me.

FSF: What was it like to return to play in Indiana? Was it difficult to concentrate on the actual game at hand?

It was kind of surreal. I just kind of really wanted to get the game to get over with. We lost and I’m just happy the game is over and I’m happy not to go back. Sometimes those games will just kind of give you an uneasy feeling.

FSF: Do you look forward to bonding with your teammates during this West Coast trip and really getting to know them or have you already done that?

Still (bonding), we’ve only been together for four or five months now. Always take advantage of a bonding experience like this when you go on the road for 10 days so you’re hanging out with your teammates a lot. It’s good because I like these guys. I’ve been to a lot of their houses. This is just another experience for us.

FSF: Have you been enjoying Miami in the winter?

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I love Miami in the winter! It doesn’t even feel like winter here, but it’s great. You see me in shorts and a t-shirt.

FSF: What are you looking forward to as far as personal goals for the rest of the season?

My personal goals is just to be consistent the whole way through. Whatever way I’m contributing, do it consistently. Stay healthy. (Making) the playoffs. From there, we’ll see where it goes. Just get everybody on this team on the same page. That’s pretty much the goals.

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