The basketball gods have turned their vengeance on the Pacers, making this coming season look like Odysseus trying to get back to Ithaca.
First it was losing Paul George likely for the season with his horrific leg injury playing for Team USA. Two guard Rodney Stuckey has had a foot issue and hasn’t seemed likely to play opening night.
Then came this dreadful injury report from the Pacers on Monday.
Forward David West will miss at least three games with a sprained right ankle. Guard George Hill is expected to miss at least three weeks with a left knee contusion and guard C.J. Watson is expected to miss at least two weeks with a bruised right foot.
That would be the Pacers starting power forward and likely leading scorer in West, the starting point guard in Hill and his backup in Watson. We have known about the injuries for a while, specifically West, but when you see it all together it adds up.
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It means Luis Scola and Roy Hibbert are going to get all the touches they could want, and the defenses will pack it in to adjust. There is no reason to fear the Pacers wings — they don’t have guys who can create shots for themselves and others right now. The Pacers may still be a solid defensive team but losing George (and Lance Stephenson to free agency) was already going to damage their offense. These injuries decimate it in the short term.
It’s going to be a rough season in Indiana.