Paul Georges injury that he sustained on Friday was one of the worst the NBA has seen. As a Bulls fan, I have to admit-it was extremely gruesome to watch. I do not ever wish to see a player get injured, no matter how much I despise the team he plays for. I pray for your recovery Paul, and come back soon to make the East very competitive. PG’s injury ripples past the woes the Pacers will face this season. There are many aspects in the NBA that will be effected
1) The Love trade becomes that much more critical
The Heat no longer can be considered elite with a waning Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. It is no secret that the Heat reaching the finals has been 100% because of Lebron James. Now that he is in Cleveland, the only other team the Cavs have to worry about are the Bulls. Paul George’s injury is going to propel the trade, because it means the Cavs have the potential to win right now. Aside from the Bulls, the Pacers are the only other team that would match up well with Lebron and friends in Cleveland. The addition of post presence with floor spacing will propel the team much farther than it would if they kept Wiggins.
2) The Pacers have time to rebuild
With Paul out, the Pacers have a rare chance to add talent if they can make the right moves. There have been rumors that the Pacers are open to trading Roy Hibbert. If Ian Hahinmi plays well, there will be more of an incentive to move Hibbert for prospects or different talent. The team’s biggest needs are point guard and scoring. With the lost of Lance, the Pacers failed to make a viable replacement. The moves they make now are going to have to be critical and precise because unlike the Cavs who seem catch every break there is lately, will not have a second chance as key players.
3) The East will not be as competitive.
With Derrick Rose back and Paul George out, there will be no difference in the layout of the east this season. The top half will be the Bulls, The Cavs, the Heat, and the Hornets. The bottom half will consist of the Knicks, the Raptors, the Wizards and the Nets, all in no particular order. The top half is substantially stronger (the top half of the teams have made serious additions) and I do not foresee many if any upset come playoff time. I expect to see the Cavs and the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals
4) Star Players may be less enticed to play world basketball.
Seeing PG’s entire season end during the scrimmage for FIBA is the reason why players like Lebron, Kobe and others chose to not play. The trend may unfortunately grow as seasons past. Some players gave an honest reason on why they didn’t want to play. Others, like Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, assumed the world was dumb and gave lame excuses. The result is the same. US basketball is time-consuming and dangerous to the real prize. Until FIBA’s gravity is as heavy as FIFA, this will always be the trend.
5)The Pacers should not rush PG’s return
Paul George is very young. There is absolutely no reason to rush his return. While it is unclear as to what kind of player he will look like when he comes back, it is clear that it is going to take time. Rushing him may force an unwanted result. Being patient and building a team for his return will prove to be more fruitful than sitting on their hands and waiting for him to come back. The Pacers should look to clear cap space and grab young prospects. That is how they built the current team, and that is the only way they are going to survive the next couple of seasons.