IBJNews

Pacers’ NBA title odds plunge after George’s broken leg

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Pacers’ odds of winning their first National Basketball Association title plunged after they lost Paul George to a compound leg fracture.

The Pacers were among the favorites to challenge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference title this season. That was before George, Indiana’s leading scorer the past two years, tried to block a layup during a Team USA scrimmage three days ago in Las Vegas and broke his right leg in multiple places when he landed on a basket support.

The Pacers’ odds of winning the NBA title dropped to 60-1 from 15-1, according to the Las Vegas Hotel’s SuperBook. Before George’s injury, only five teams had a better chance at winning the championship. After he underwent surgery that may sideline him for the 2014-15 NBA season, more than half the 30 teams in the NBA have better odds to win the title.

“This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere,” Larry Bird, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations, said in a prepared statement.

Bird said the team will continue to support USA Basketball and the league’s attempts to promote the game internationally.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN.com the league’s participation in international competitions will be a topic of discussion at the board of governors’ meeting in October. While Silver said the NBA will continue to evaluate the pros and cons of playing in the Olympics or the FIBA Basketball World Cup, he doesn’t anticipate a major shift from current participation.

Unique experience

“Injuries can happen any place at any time,” Silver was quoted as saying by ESPN.com. “The experiences our players have enjoyed by participating in their national teams, however, are ones that are unique and special in almost every other way.”

George, a 24-year-old forward who has averaged 15.3 points and 6.1 rebounds a game over his first four NBA seasons, was preparing to play for the U.S. team at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain from Aug. 30 through Sept. 14. A story posted to USA Basketball’s website the day of the injury detailed how George was becoming a major factor for the U.S. team.

“I’ll be OK and be back better than ever!!!” George said on his Twitter feed after the injury. He’s set to make about $13.7 million this season in the first year of a $92 million contract extension with the Pacers.

The Cavaliers’ odds of winning the championship moved to 3-1 from 7-2 after George’s injury. With the perception of less competition in the Eastern Conference, they’re now the favorite to win the championship, according to the LVH SuperBook. The Pacers went from third favorite in the East behind Cleveland and the Chicago Bulls to tied for ninth out of 15 teams.

Indiana impact

“There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back,” said Bird, who was a member of the U.S. gold medal-winning “Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics. “We still support USA Basketball and believe in the NBA’s goals of exposing our game, our teams and players worldwide.”

NBA games can be seen in 215 countries and territories, up from fewer than 10 in 1984, and the league continues to seek to grow its popularity internationally. USA Basketball’s men’s team, headed by Chairman Jerry Colangelo and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, has won the past two Olympic gold medals and is the defending champion at the FIBA World Cup.

ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said basketball is a 12-month-a-year sport and that all players participate in summer leagues and pick-up games. Fraschilla added that NBA stars such as James and Kevin Durant talk among themselves about international competition and how they benefit from the experience.

“Iron sharpens iron,” Fraschilla said. “They get better playing against this type of competition in the summertime. Each player, their agent and club has to determine each situation differently, but you’re not going to stop players from playing summer basketball. By and large USA Basketball, since Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski have taken over, has been good for the game.”

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Not exactly news
    I suppose you have to put some odds on it in Vegas, but unless every other playoff team suffers a catastrophic injury of the same nature as the Pacers, they have no chance of winning a title this year, and will be lucky just to have him back next year, with the title window closing. On that note, I'd like to personally thank Roy Hibbert for disappearing and deserting his teammates and organization when the Pacers needed him the most over hurt feelings and lack of "touches". You'll get all the touches you want this year pal. Selfish dudes? Look in the mirror Roy. On the positive side it should be a great learning year for Coach Vogel, who will now have to actually have to play his bench players. As bad as the East is, they still should make the playoffs...still, it has the smell of a disaster season...let's hope it doesn't end with more injuries and a fire sale run for the lottery...
  • Captain Obvious Reports for Bloomberg
    Other headlines we might see this week: Tornado warnings drastically reduce attendance at State Fair concert venue.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

  2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

  3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

  4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

  5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

ADVERTISEMENT