Injuries Have Depleted the Pacers Big Man Rotation
Over the Christmas weekend, I wasn’t exactly scanning the airwaves for up-to-the-minute updates on the health of Jeff Foster. So it was a surprise to me that he was in a suit last night instead of a Pacers uniform. He sat out after having “tweaked” his back in the team’s final preseason game against Chicago, according to Pacers beat writer Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
And unfortunately for the team’s depth, Jeff will continue to look like the epitome of Bankers Life over there on the sidelines for the next few games.
The Indiana Pacers began the season with just 13 players on the roster and for the next week they’re going to be really thin in the frontcourt.
Jeff Foster [back] and Jeff Pendergraph [sprained knee] are currently sidelined, which means backups Tyler Hansbrough and Louis Amundson will get a lot of minutes behind starters David West and Roy Hibbert.
Foster is expected to be ready for game action in about a week, while Pendergraph should start practicing next week, reports The Indianapolis Star.
This means a shorter big-man rotation for Coach Frank Vogel, who will be hoping to get worthwhile spot minutes out of the non-injured four guys he has on his roster he doesn’t consider to be “starters.”
“The way I look at our depth now is that it’s like we’ve almost got seven starters and we still have quality bench players as well,” Vogel said. “I look at George Hill and Tyler Hansbrough as deserving starter minutes.”
Lou Amundson didn’t see the court in the team’s season-opening rout of the Pistons. Instead, the only big men to play were actual starters Roy Hibbert and David West as well as Tyler Hansbrough, who will presumably be the first big off the bench all season. But we can probably expect Lou to get some extended run in the near-term since, starting tomorrow, the Pacers play 7 games in 11 days.
Hopefully, at least Foster and perhaps even offseason acquisition Jeff Pendergraph join the rotation at some point during that stretch.