Indiana Pacers: 66-1


. .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 greatest perimeter players on offense and defense, the Indiana Pacers are going to fight in a big way.
Frank Vogel nevertheless 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 strength for Indy, however, scoring is going to be demanding.
Really rough.
Remember, this team ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency this past year. After the All-Star fracture, only the Sixers’ scoring strike was less powerful, per Taking away two of Indiana’s three leading scorers will make it almost impossible to get buckets at anything greater than a bottom-five pace.
Perhaps Chris Copeland will elongate the floor with his shooting. Perhaps Hibbert will turn into a bigger threat on the block. David West could have yet another big year .
But even though all three of those things come to pass, it’s difficult to say they will compensate for shedding George and Stephenson.
And in what may be the most frightening harbinger of an offensive tragedy to come, Donald Sloan leads Indy in preseason points per game and will be the starter at point guard for up to three months while Hill’s left knee mends.
Oh dear.

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