Pacers down to one at point guard as Watson is sidelined
Next man up.
It’s a cliché, but it’s ever so true for the Pacers Saturday night in Detroit. On the second night of a back-to-back, C.J. Watson won’t play after he strained his right hamstring in the first half of last night’s win in Philadelphia.
The injury may have occurred in the middle of the second quarter. After draining his first shot, a 3-pointer from the right arc, Watson winced all the down the floor. Now, that may have been due to pain in his sprained right elbow, an injury that kept him out the previous four games. He didn’t return to the court in the second half.
Hamstring injuries are tough because they simply heal over time. Perhaps it happened because he hadn’t practiced all week to allow the swelling in his right elbow to decrease. With just one month left in the regular season, the team surely will take a cautious approach for Watson, who’s now concerned with two injuries.
To make matters worse, a healthy Donald Sloan isn’t with the team this weekend, as reported Friday, due to personal reasons. That means George Hill, who averages a little more than 31 minutes per game, will be asked to play more. Vogel went with Evan Turner at point for a short part of the second half in order to get Hill a breather. Paul George and Lance Stephenson are both very capable ball handlers.
7-foot center Andrew Bynum rested his knee Friday night, but will hit the floor against Detroit’s sizable frontline. Ian Mahinmi is expected to dress, but the team hopes not to use him so that his bruised left rib can heal.