. .this will get ugly.
Paul George is likely done for the year with a broken legand Stephenson is grazing at 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 still has Roy Hibbert at the middle, and George Hill will continue to be one of the NBA’s better defensive point guards. So getting stops should still be a power for Indy, however, scoring is going to be demanding.
Remember, this team ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency last year. Following the All-Star break, only 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 have buckets at anything better than a bottom-five rate.
Maybe Chris Copeland will stretch the floor with his shooting. Maybe Hibbert will become a bigger threat on the block. David West could have yet another big year in him.
But even though all three of these things come to pass, it is hard to say they will compensate for shedding George and Stephenson.
And in what might be the most frightening harbinger of an offensive catastrophe to emerge, Donald Sloan leads Indy in preseason points each game and will be the starter at point guard for up to three months while Hill’s left knee mends.