The nation’s flu epidemic has hit the Indiana Pacers locker room again. This time, their leading scorer has been affected.
The Pacers’ media relations director David Benner tweeted that leading scorer Paul George will miss tonight’s home game against the Charlotte Bobcats with the flu.
Paul George will miss tonight's Pacers game vs. Bobcats with the flu. It is hopes he will join the team Sunday in Brooklyn.
— David Benner (@PacersDMB) January 12, 2013
George will be the third Pacer to miss game time due to the flu. Sam Young missed a couple games with the illness before he was waived by the team. It also forced starting point guard George Hill to play limited minutes in Indiana’s win over the Miami Heat earlier this week.
The illness comes at the wrong time for both George and the Pacers. He has emerged as the Pacers go-to guy in recent weeks, averaging 19.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in January. He’s having one of the best weeks in his career, going for 29 points and 11 rebounds while guarding LeBron James in a win over the Heat. He backed that up by stuffing the stat sheet against New York with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and six steals.
It will be interesting to see how Indiana adjusts to losing their young star. Indiana already has an anemic offense, so not having George for tonight and possibly more games will only hinder it further. The Pacers are second to last in the league in points per game. This would be a great time for Roy Hibbert and David West to step up offensively to fill in for George. Hibbert has struggled all season and West is only averaging 9.6 points on 29.7% shooting in January. Dominic McGuire will start for George in his Pacers debut but look for Orlando Johnson to get some meaningful minutes as well.
Follow Jay Neal on Twitter @JayNilla