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David West avoids title talk

Indiana Pacers forward David West played down his team's NBA title chances on Monday.

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In a double blow to the Pacers, superstar Paul George could miss the whole season after suffering a broken leg in August, while Lance Stephenson has left for the Charlotte Hornets.

George walked across the media room without crutches during the Pacers' media day.

The Pacers, who have won back-to-back Central division titles, are playing down expectations.

West wanted to avoid talk about the Pacers' chances, saying the focus should be on getting players fit.

"Paul's loss is big, Lance's loss is big. Obviously, you can't anticipate what happened with Paul," West told reporters on Monday.

"But you've got to give yourselves a realistic starting point. You can't be talking about being a championship contender or whatever right now.

"We've got to talk about getting the best guys on the floor to compete."

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said George had been working hard, but he knows there is no replacement for the 24-year-old two-time All-Star.

"No one guy can duplicate what Paul George is able to do with his versatility... particularly on the defensive end," Vogel said.

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