The Indiana Pacers sure didn’t need David West Friday night when they demolished the Milwaukee Bucks 102-78. But the Pacers obviously can’t wait to get West back in the lineup with the end of the regular NBA season rapidly approaching.
Indiana played its third straight game without West, who is out with a lower back sprain.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel said prior to the game that West is improving, but still is having a difficult time walking because of the injury. That’s not a good sign and it wouldn’t be surprising if West misses a few more games.
But the quicker he can get back onto the court and return to basketball shape, the better. The Pacers definitely need a healthy West for the playoffs.
West had been playing very well prior to the injury. He had shown substantial improvement from last year when he averaged 29.2 minutes, 12.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists a game and was shooting 48.7 percent from the floor. He had started all 65 games in which he’s see action and was at 32.2 minutes, 17.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game and 49.1 percent shooting from the floor. He was reliable as he’s ever been.
The Pacers don’t want West to be out too long. It will take a few games to get back into sync. This is not the time of year for a player to be in rehab. They’ll need West to be at his finest in what they hope will be a lengthy post-season run.