Call it rest, call it a message, call it whatever you will, Pacers coach Frank Vogel is being bold in trying to snap his team out of their malaise (3-7 in last 10, 8-12 in last 20).
Vogel is resting all five starters Wednesday night against the Bucks, reports Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.
George Hill, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, David West and Roy Hibbert will all be in street clothes. But hey, C.J. Watson is back!
There is not likely to be a fine from the league because of the time of the season and how this was handled (the Spurs sprung this last minute on a nationally televised game when they earned a $250,000 fine for benching their stars).
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This is a team trying to find a rhythm again and Vogel said he thinks if he played a couple of the starting five mixed in with bench players nobody would find their rhythm. So, he’s treating it like a hockey line change.
It’s worth a shot. The Pacers’ fatigue seems more mental than physical, this is a team that set getting the No. 1 seed as a goal and the plush to do that seems to have them worn down. The motion on the offense, the ball sharing has gone away (and their defense has suffered some as well). Maybe a night off for everybody works. Maybe not. But Vogel needs to do something to shake his team up.
Despite their recent slump the Pacers are just half a game back of Miami for the top seed in the East. The two teams meet Friday in a game that could go a long way to determining who has home court throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs — and even if it doesn’t both teams will be trying to set a playoff tone.