Indiana Pacers Forward Paul George to Miss 2014-2015 NBA Season
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | August 4, 2014 2:41 PM EST
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George successfully underwent surgery on his injured right leg. Now, it is time to rehabilitate and undergo extensive recovery.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY
USA Team Blue guard Paul George (29) is carted off on a gurney after injuring his leg during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas &Mack Center.
This leaves both the United States men's national basketball team and the Pacers reeling to recover from the loss of its versatile forward. One of the three locks to make the final roster of the FIBA World Cup in Spain, George is also expected to miss the forthcoming 2014-2015 regular season of the NBA.
''This is a tough blow for not only USA Basketball, but for the Indiana Pacers,'' USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said per Yahoo! Sports.
While many were already speculating on the moves that the Pacers will do to somewhat make a respectable effort to replace the production of their best players, all talks are being hushed right now by President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird who only has the speedy recovery of the high dunking player in full focus. George is still confined at the Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas after undergoing an open tibia-fibula fracture surgical procedure.
''Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time,'' Pacers President Larry Bird said in a statement. ''Our focus is solely on Paul and doing whatever we can to help.''
Even if Bird does not want to discuss further the effect of George 's potential loss for the upcoming season, any missed time from the team would be devastating considering that they are already missing the services of Lance Stephenson who fled in free agency to the Charlotte Hornets. Stephenson and George were the leading penetrators and distributors of the runner-up Eastern Conference winners of last year and tallied the best f record for the conference at 56-26.
Indiana coach Frank Vogel, mostly recognized for his defensive tactics, must dig deep to create an offensive scheme that will feature his two behemoths and all-stars in David West and Roy Hibbert. They have also added shooter C.J. Miles and Rodney Stuckey but those two will still be inept to somewhat approach 50% of what Stephenson and George provides.
Or they could go the San Antonio Spurs David Robinson-injury route and proclaim the season as lost and hope to get a top pick and parade a new and youthful team when Paul George comes back next season. This might be a viable option given how much sensationalized the meltdown of Hibbert and company displayed during the tail end of last season, eventually commencing to an exit against the Miami Heat.
''There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back,'' Bird said. ''Our franchise has had setbacks in its history but has demonstrated the abilities to recover. Paul will provide the example of that off the court and it is up to the rest of us to provide that example on the court.''
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