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