The Indiana Pacers will be without their top star for Wednesday's preseason matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, as Paul George tries to recover from illness. Scott Agness of Pacers.com shared the details of George's condition as of Tuesday afternoon:
Paul George didn't practice. He has bronchitis, 104 degree fever and will likely miss tomorrow's game. Hibbert will sit tomorrow, too.— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) October 15, 2013
The 104-degree fever is obviously concerning, but it's even more concerning for the Pacers since George is their franchise player. Bronchitis can linger, and the team also has upcoming road preseason games on Friday and Saturday, so it will be interesting to see how fast George can make a recovery.
Without George or Roy Hibbert, the team's starting center, Agness provided a predicted starting lineup for Indiana:
With Paul George (bronchitis) and Roy Hibbert (rest) out tomorrow vs DAL, expect Hill, Stephenson, Granger, West, and Mahinmi to start.— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) October 15, 2013
George's illness comes on the heels of the team's week-long trip Asia for the NBA's Global Games series. The Pacers played the Houston Rockets in the Philippines and Taiwan last week before heading back to Indiana on Sunday night:
The Pacers have arrived back to the U.S. after spending more than a week in Asia. The team will return home later tonight. #NBAGlobalGames— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 13, 2013
George made his first All-Star team last season by posting career highs in points (17.4), rebounds (7.3) and assists (4.1) per game in his third year out of Fresno State. He's also becoming the most visible member of the Pacers, even being featured as the first player shown in the NBA's commercial for the upcoming season:
With George leading the attack, the Pacers figure to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference again for the 2013-14 season. Indiana finished as the No. 3 seed in the East last year before taking the eventual champion Miami Heat to seven games in the Conference Finals. George shined in the series.
If a player is going to be sidelined with something in the preseason, it's generally better that it's an illness rather than an injury. With 14 days left until the regular season, George should have ample time to recover for the opener against the Orlando Magic.