. .this will get ugly.
Paul George is probably done for the year with a broken leg, and Stephenson is grazing in purpler pastures. Down their two best perimeter players on offense and defense, the Indiana Pacers are going to struggle in a large way.
Frank Vogel still 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 power for Indy, however, scoring is going to be rough.
Remember, this team ranked 22nd in offensive performance this past year. After the All-Star fracture, only the Sixers’ scoring strike was less potent, per NBA.com. Taking away two of Indiana’s three leading scorers is going to make it almost impossible to have buckets at anything greater than a bottom-five rate.
Maybe Chris Copeland will stretch the ground with his shooting. Maybe Hibbert will turn into a bigger threat on the block. David West could have yet another big year .
But even though all three of these things come to pass, it’s difficult to say they’ll make up for shedding George and Stephenson.
And in what may be the most frightening harbinger of an offensive catastrophe to emerge, Donald Sloan leads Indy in preseason points each 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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