When Dunleavy got injured, the Pacers soon hit a big funk, and much of that could be associated with filling in his valuable role. It took a while, but they figured out (sorta) how to play without him, but they had to take on a much different look.
To makeup for Dunleavy's missing offense, including facilitating the offense with his ball-handling abilities and overall smarts, Vogel had to find some offense, which didn't come in the form of a different shooting guard, but in a new starting PF (Psycho-T). In a way, Dunleavy's absense allowed that to happen, but it wasn't the only thing that changed.
I don't recall if they coincided, but soon after the injury, Paul George became a starter. His minutes didn't change that much, nor did his numbers, but I would say that Paul George "spurt" where he's hit a couple sweet shots in a row disappeared. One of the "goon squad" seemed to lose his mojo. Did I just imagine that?
With an inconsistent offensive flow, Dunleavy's return should be welcomed, but how does he fit in? This should be another opportunity for Vogel to prove his coaching ability, as Dunleavy can play a few roles in the offense. We are about to return to having 5 wings who can play, so who sits?
This team is obviously sensitive to just about everything, so any adjustment I fear will take it's toll. Even solid players can need a few games to re-adjust. I think the two candidates for Mike to steal minutes back from are Rush and George. Neither has taken the opportunity to establish themselves with more minutes, and neither has a lick of focus. I believe George has a better chance performing by re-joining the "goon squad", which leaves Rush, who has played decent of late. I think they have to keep Dahntay in the rotation with his solid leadership and defense.
Any thoughts out there?