. .this will get ugly.
Paul George is likely done for the year with a broken legand Stephenson is grazing at purpler pastures. Down their two greatest perimeter players on offense and defense, the Indiana Pacers are likely to fight in a large way.
Frank Vogel still has Roy Hibbert at the middle, and George Hill will continue to be one of the NBA’s better defensive point guards. So getting stops still ought to be a strength for Indy, but scoring is going to be rough.
Remember, this team ranked 22nd in offensive performance last year. Following the All-Star break, 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 better than a bottom-five rate.
Maybe Chris Copeland will stretch the floor with his shooting. Maybe Hibbert will become a bigger threat on the cube. David West could have yet another big year in him.
But even if all three of those things come to pass, it’s difficult to say they will make up for losing George and Stephenson.
And in what may be the most terrifying harbinger of an offensive catastrophe to come, 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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