Pacers forced to start season with four new starters in the line-up…
The Indiana Pacers saw their injury crisis deepen on Monday as David West and George Hill were ruled out with ankle and knee injuries respectively.
Team officials announced that power forward West and shooting guard Hill would miss at least three games because of the injuries, with West recovering from a sprained right ankle while Hill is struggling with a bruised left knee.
It is another blow for coach Frank Vogel who is already without Paul George for the season after he sustained a broken leg during an exhibition game with Team USA this past summer.
Coupled with the loss of Lance Stephenson who moved to the Charlotte Hornets in the off-season, the Pacers will have four new starters in their opening day line-up when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
The two-time Eastern Conference runners-up are also without point guard CJ Watson for at least two weeks after he suffered a bruised right foot, and so Vogel will hope to patch up his remaining stars and do what they can until they get some big names back.
Center Roy Hibbert will likely play a key role on both ends of the court throughout the season, but he will have additional responsibility in the opening week in order to help his coach deal with the injuries.
Nevertheless, given the loss of Stephenson and George this season, experts have suggested that the Pacers could well miss out on the playoffs this year as their championship window looks to have closed with their roster starting to show signs of potentially breaking up.