. .this will get ugly.
Paul George is likely done for the year with a broken legand Stephenson is grazing in purpler pastures. Down their two greatest perimeter players on offense and defense, the Indiana Pacers are likely to fight in a big way.
Frank Vogel nevertheless has Roy Hibbert at the center, and George Hill will be among the NBA’s better defensive point guards. So getting stops should still be a power for Indy, however, scoring is going to be demanding.
Bear in mind, this team ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency this past year. Following the All-Star fracture, just the Sixers’ scoring strike was less potent, per NBA.com. Taking away two of Indiana’s three leading scorers will make it nearly impossible to get buckets at anything greater than a bottom-five rate.
Perhaps Chris Copeland will stretch the floor with his shooting. Perhaps Hibbert will become a bigger threat on the block. David West could have yet another big year in him.
But even though all three of these things come to pass, it’s difficult to say they will compensate for losing George and Stephenson.
And in what might be the most frightening harbinger of an offensive catastrophe to emerge, Donald Sloan leads Indy in preseason points per game and will be the starter at point guard for up to three weeks while Hill’s left knee mends.
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