Danny Granger expects to be back in Pacers' starting lineup in 2013

Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

The Indiana Pacers star doesn't think things changed enough with him out of the lineup to necessitate him coming off of the bench next season.

The Indiana Pacers had a pretty impressive run in the NBA Playoffs. Paul George had a coming-out party as he nearly led his team to an upset of the heavily favored Miami Heat, David West had some big moments and Roy Hibbert was able to keep LeBron James from doing too much damage in the paint -- making fans nearly forget about former All-Star Danny Granger.

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Granger missed almost the entire season due to a knee injury that took longer than expected to fully recover -- after making his debut with a brief five-game stretch in late February, he was sidelined for the rest of the season -- but that isn't keeping him from believing that he'll be back in the Pacers' starting lineup next season. Via Mike Wells at the Indianapolis Star:

I expect to be back in the starting lineup. We really didn't have a drop off from the team before in this team. We lost to the Heat again and my role is kind of secondary to my health.

The team didn't necessarily have a drop off with Granger out of the lineup, but it did allow George to blossom into a pretty prolific player ... meaning one of the two players, along with Lance Stephenson, will likely have to temper their expectations when it comes to shot attempts next season.

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