. .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 defense and offense, the Indiana Pacers are going to struggle in a big way.
Frank Vogel nevertheless has Roy Hibbert in the middle, and George Hill will continue to be among the NBA’s better defensive point guards. So getting stops should still be a strength for Indy, however, scoring is going to be rough.
Bear in mind, this team ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency last year. Following the All-Star break, only the Sixers’ scoring attack was less powerful, per NBA.com. Taking away two of Indiana’s three leading scorers will make it almost impossible to have buckets at anything greater than a bottom-five rate.
Perhaps Chris Copeland will stretch the ground with his shooting. Perhaps Hibbert will turn into a bigger threat on the block. 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 might be the most terrifying harbinger of an offensive tragedy to emerge, Donald Sloan leads Indy in preseason points per game and is going to be the starter at point guard for up to three weeks while Hill’s left knee mends.
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