. .this is going to get ugly.
Paul George is probably done for the year with a broken leg, and Stephenson is grazing at purpler pastures. Down their two best perimeter players on offense and defense, the Indiana Pacers are going to fight in a big way.
Frank Vogel still has Roy Hibbert in the middle, and George Hill will be among the NBA’s better defensive point guards. So getting stops still ought to be a strength for Indy, but scoring will be rough.
Bear in mind, this team ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency last year. After the All-Star break, only the Sixers’ scoring strike was less potent, per NBA.com. Taking away two of Indiana’s three leading scorers will make it almost impossible to get buckets at anything better than a bottom-five rate.
Maybe Chris Copeland will stretch the ground with his shooting. Perhaps Hibbert will become a larger threat on the cube. David West might have yet another big year in him.
But even if all three of these things come to pass, it is difficult to say they’ll compensate for shedding George and Stephenson.
And in what may be the most frightening harbinger of an offensive catastrophe to come, 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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