For a team like Indiana -- which ranks just 20th in the league in offensive efficiency, scoring 100.6 points per 100 possessions -- Danny Granger's highly anticipated season debut during the weekend couldn't have come at a better time.
Granted, just five teams have a better record than the Pacers (35-21), but for Frank Vogel's team to have a realistic chance of getting past the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference, let alone any of the juggernauts out West like the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers, it'll have to make big improvements on the offensive side of the ball.
Indeed, Miami and Oklahoma City are averaging nearly 10 points more than Indiana. If Granger can stay healthy, that should help, but equally important is for center Roy Hibbert to start playing with the offensive force that earned him a four-year, $58.37 million max contract with Indiana last summer.
A reliable offensive presence inside the paint in his first four years in the league, Hibbert has been anything but this season. The statistics are downright alarming.
Consider this: Paul George, David West and George Hill all picked up their scoring with Granger out. Hibbert, on the other hand, somehow managed to see his scoring dip from 12.8 ppg last season to 9.9 ppg this season -- almost three whole points. How is that even possible?