. .this is going to get ugly.
Paul George is likely done for the year with a broken leg, and Stephenson is grazing in purpler pastures. Down their two greatest perimeter players on defense and offense, the Indiana Pacers are likely to fight in a big way.
Frank Vogel still has Roy Hibbert at the middle, and George Hill will be one of the NBA’s better defensive point guards. So getting stops still ought to be a strength for Indy, however, scoring is going to be demanding.
Remember, this team ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency this past year. Following the All-Star break, just the Sixers’ scoring attack 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 pace.
Maybe Chris Copeland will stretch the ground with his shooting. Maybe Hibbert will become a larger threat on the block. David West could have one more big year .
But even if all three of those things come to pass, it’s hard to say they will compensate for losing 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 per game and is going to be the starter at point guard for up to three months while Hill’s left knee mends.
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