Paul George did not play in the team’s last game this past Saturday against the Boston Celtics due to a left ankle sprain sustained in last Friday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and it appears that there is a chance that George may not play in tonight’s game against the Magic, either. The news was reported by the Pacers’ official Twitter account early Monday morning.
Without George, the Pacers were defeated by the Celtics at home by a score of 105-99, dropping their record to 4-6 on the year — not quite the start that the team had probably envisioned before the season’s start.
Perhaps the bigger news of the night, however, is former Pacers head coach Frank Vogel’s return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Shortly after their first-round playoff defeat to the 2nd-seeded Toronto Raptors, team president Larry Bird surprised many by not re-signing Vogel to a contract extension, and rather choosing to promote then-assistant head coach Nate McMillan to be Vogel’s replacement.
It is very clear so far this season that Vogel’s hard-nosed defensive strategies are clearly absent from the team, as the Pacers rank 29th in the league in defense — allowing 112 points per-game. The Magic defense under Vogel ranks in at No. 15.
If George does sit out tonight’s game, look for McMillan to go with C.J. Miles for the second consecutive game in place of George.
The Pacers tip off against the Magic tonight at 7 p.m. ET.