The Pacers face the Cavaliers in preseason action on Wednesday, but the team has changed significantly since the last time Indiana matched up against LeBron James.
In the Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron’s Heat, the Pacers had a fighting chance, with playmakers like Paul George and Lance Stephenson on the floor to at least give the offense a spark. But with George lost to injury and Stephenson now in Charlotte, an offense that ranked 22nd in efficiency last season is likely to be far worse.
Defense was the calling card for the Pacers anyway, but the loss of those two players will hurt on that end of the floor, as well. Perhaps that’s why head coach Frank Vogel is willing to give just about anyone a shot at guarding the game’s best player during Wednesday’s preseason contest.
Heading into the Indiana Pacers fourth preseason game, coach Frank Vogel may not have a set lineup, but he does have a plan.
That plan? Throw anything and everyone at LeBron James and hope something clicks in the Pacers’ matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7 p.m. Wednesday (FSI) at Cincinnati’s Cintas Center.
“Everybody is going to get a crack. Honestly I am going to send multiple defenders at him just to give some of these guys an opportunity. Solomon Hill never got a shot, Rodney (Stuckey) and CJ (Miles) typically have not had a chance to guard him because they are playing shooting guard. Chris Copeland and Donald (Sloan) haven’t had a chance,” said Vogel. “So I’ll probably give everyone a shot to get some experience.”
The players listed aren’t exactly household names, so to a certain extent, Vogel may be simply seeing who is capable of contributing what before the season begins. It’s not a bad strategy, considering just how weakened the team is from a pure talent perspective when you compare it to last season’s roster.