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Sore knee to keep Pacers' Granger out indefinitely
The Indiana Pacers will start the season without star forward Danny Granger, who has been sidelined indefinitely with a sore left knee.
The team said Tuesday that their top scorer and former All-Star is seeking a second opinion from a doctor as he continues to recover from a knee injury during last spring's Eastern Conference semifinals. It's a tough blow for the Pacers, who had high hopes heading into Wednesday night's season opener in Toronto.
For the first time since the early 2000s, fans thought they may have an NBA title contender as all five starters from last season's playoff run returned.
Now Indiana must contend with the loss of Granger, a small forward who averaged team-best 18.7 points per game last season, and the possibility that starting point guard George Hill might not be 100 percent. Hill did not play in any preseason games because of a left thumb injury and a right hip-pointer.
Coach Frank Vogel told The Indianapolis Star on Monday that Hill is expected to start against the Raptors and that he would like to play Hill about 30 minutes per game.
"You're never going to feel like yourself the first day back, but I feel a lot better being out there than sitting down," Hill told the newspaper.
Hill is expected to fill a vital role this season after returning to his hometown last year, averaging 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He played well enough that the Pacers traded Darren Collison to Dallas during the offseason.
Losing Granger is more disconcerting.
He has averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in seven NBA seasons, and though he played through the injury in May, it flared up again while he was doing offseason workouts. In September, Granger underwent blood-platelet treatment.
"It hurts," Granger said then as he described the procedure. "They take the blood out and inject it back in, so it hurts. But it helps you heal tremendously."
Jazz keeping Corbin
The Utah Jazz have exercised an option that will keep coach Tyrone Corbin under contract through the 2013-14 season.
Corbin was thrust into the job following the abrupt retirement of Jerry Sloan in February 2011. He guided the team to the playoffs despite a strike-shortened training camp and season.
Team officials praised Corbin for his poise and steadiness in developing a young team under difficult circumstances.
Corbin has a 44-50 record entering this season.
The 49-year-old Corbin is the seventh head coach in team history and only the fourth since the franchise moved to Utah in 1979. The South Carolina native played for nine teams during his 16-year NBA career.
Cavs owner regrets title guarantee before LeBron
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert now wishes he wouldn't have guaranteed his team would win an NBA title before LeBron James.
When James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in July 2010, Gilbert famously promised in a letter to disappointed Cleveland fans that his Cavs would win a championship before James got one with the Heat.
Well, that ended in June when James, capping his third MVP season, led Miami to a finals win over Oklahoma City.
"Looking back now, that probably was not the most brilliant thing I've ever done in my life," Gilbert said Tuesday.
Relaxed and wearing a wine-colored sport coat, Gilbert spoke to reporters on a number of topics before the Cavs' opener against Washington.
When the subject turned to James, Gilbert said he would have done some things differently two years ago, most notably his guarantee.
"If you're going to predict something that doesn't happen and you're going to do it publicly, you'd for sure take it back," Gilbert said. "When that happened when they won, it was the end of the end of the end of that whole thing. Now there's nothing more to talk about. In a way it was like a little bit of a relief. If they didn't win it, it would've been still another thing of who's going to win it (first)?"
Gilbert said James' departure taught the Cavaliers a valuable lesson, one that Oklahoma City seemed to have learned recently in its decision to trade James Harden to Houston. When the Thunder realized Harden was not going to accept a long-term deal, the club traded him before losing him as a free agent.