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Pacers admit George likely to be out for full season but expect full recovery

Aug 12, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

Larry Bird, Frank Vogel Larry Bird, Frank Vogel

Pacers president Larry Bird and head coach Frank Vogel put on a brave face, went before the media on Tuesday (you can see the entire press conference at the Pacers Web site) and said everything is going to be fine with the Pacers, this season and beyond.

We all know that’s not true. Indiana will play hard next season but the team ranked 23rd in the NBA in points per possession last season just lost their two leading scorers, ball handlers and shot creators. Lance Stephenson is gone to Charlotte as a free agent.

Paul George went down playing for Team USA with a ghastly compound fracture of his leg. In their public comments, Bird confirmed that George is likely out for the season.

“We also know we’re not going to replace Paul, you just can’t replace Paul George,” Bird said.

“No one has told us he’s going to be out for the whole year, but our conversations, me and the coach’s conversations, we’re sort of expecting him to be out for the whole year but we don’t really know… If he can play, he’s going to play,” Bird added.

“A full recovery is expected,” Vogel said, adding that since the injury pretty much everything had gone as well as could be hoped for (there was not serious vascular or nerve damage with the compound fracture, for example).

As for their goals for the next season, well, what did you expect them to say?

“My goal is to win as many games as we possibly can and to get into the playoffs,” Bird said.

Vogel confirmed that the offense is going to go mostly through Roy Hibbert and David West in the post. The team added C.J. Miles for shooting and they have Rodney Stuckey now. Expect George Hill to show much more on offense now that he won’t be asked to just be a caretaker bringing the ball up.

But none of that is Paul George or Lance Stephenson.

Which is why the Pacers need to explore the idea of trading Hibbert and other possibilities. Not that it will happen, but they need to look at all their options right now, including a larger revamp of the roster.

  1. zacksdad - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Bring back Bynum

  2. antistratfordian - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    I would never expect a Bird team to tank. There doesn’t seem much reason to this year anyway – might as well use this season to show 2015 FAs that Indiana isn’t terrible. But wait, I thought they build and don’t buy…. hmmm… quite the conundrum.

    • bball242322 - Aug 12, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      You love it

  3. 4thquartermagic - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Bet they wished they had upped the offer for Stephenson now…

  4. cbrown386 - Aug 12, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    It’s a shame that so many FA moves were made before the injury, if I recall correctly, Phoenix’s offer to Bledsoe is very similar to the one offered to Stephenson. Barring another injury, that would have been an excellent replacement had they not already blown the little amount of extra cap space they had.

    I’m fine with admitting that this is essentially a lost year. Indy isn’t going to make a run without PG. However, it’s a great opportunity to see what else is on the team. How will Hibbert respond to being the main option? Can Hill improve on his offense and ball handling? What kind of talent is on the bench with guys like Solo Hill and LaVoy Allen?

    This was already going to be a bit of a transition year, but without PG in the lineup this season will likely determine who stays and goes for the inevitable rebuild.

  5. sportsfan18 - Aug 12, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    The Pacers will be lucky to grab the 8th seed…

    That will take some luck.

    I think the Pacers will finish 9th in the East…

    Still one spot better than the Knicks though…

    • 2016olympics - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      Here are your top eight seeds (in order) for the 2014-2015 Eastern Conference:

      Chicago
      Cleveland
      Toronto
      Washington
      Miami
      Charlotte
      New York
      Brooklyn

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        2016

        Not bad honestly. Mine differs a bit but then again most all of ours would… What you said could very well happen.

        I think that Atlanta will be in the playoffs though. Remember that Al Horford missed last season due to injury and they still made the playoffs. They were the 3rd seed until he went down with injury.

        I’m not saying they’ll be third, but Atlanta will at least make the playoffs and they’ll do so ahead of the Knicks.

        Here’s mine

        Bulls – Thibs gets a lot in the regular season each year
        Cavs
        Toronto
        Miami
        Washington
        Atlanta
        Charlotte
        Brooklyn (depends on health of Lopez and Williams)

        Pacers #9
        Knicks #10

  6. 2016olympics - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    I don’t see Atlanta getting it done but I could be wrong. They did make the playoffs without Horford, but they were still 6 games under .500 overall.

    Can’t see the Knicks being as bad as they were last year (as much as I’d like to see it).

    Looks like the Pacers are in for a loooong season.

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