. .this is going to get ugly.
Paul George is likely 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 likely to fight in a large way.
Frank Vogel still has Roy Hibbert in the center, 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 will be rough.
Remember, this team ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency this past year. After the All-Star fracture, 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 nearly impossible to get buckets at anything better than a bottom-five rate.
Maybe Chris Copeland will elongate the ground with his shooting. Maybe Hibbert will turn into a bigger threat on the cube. David West might have one more big year in him.
But even if all three of these things come to pass, it’s hard to say they’ll compensate for losing George and Stephenson.
And in what might be the most terrifying 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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