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Pacers to rest all five starters Wednesday vs. Bucks

Apr 9, 2014, 1:56 PM EDT

Frank Vogel Frank Vogel

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.

  1. ihavenonickname - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    totally support this. but how does league differentiate this from what the spurs got fined for last year?

    • blugold94 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      The difference is that game was on TNT and this one is on Fox Sports Wisconsin. League may not say it that way though……

    • kinggw - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      The Spurs didnt get fined for resting players, they got fined for sending them home. Stern said “The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans.”

      There is a difference.

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        the difference is too minor to be of importance… in BOTH cases, players will not have played.

        HAD the Spurs notified them in a timely manner, the players would STILL not have played and it would still have been on TNT and it still would have been their only visit to Miami.

        NOT playing is not playing regardless…

        basically Stern was saying it was that they didn’t notify HIM (the league). HAD they notified King Stern, well then no fine.

        guess what, notify Stern and the players still DIDN’T play.

        don’t notify Stern and the players still DIDN’T play but the team got a fine…

        One sportswriter when this happened wrote about how he agreed with the fine to the Spurs and said it was wrong to deny the fans a chance in Miami to see the good players, us TV fans etc… However, he also agreed with Stern that if they gave better/more notice it would have been OK.

        But if they gave more notice, the players would still NOT have played and the writer said how bad that was and that was why he agreed with the fine.

        Well, the fine was NOT for them NOT playing, it was for the late notification (none actually).

        So the players actually playing or NOT had nothing to do with it as the Pacers aren’t going to be fined even though their players won’t be playing.

        fine was wrong

      • unxpexted1 - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        sportsfan…..It’s no different than being at your own job. If you tell your boss ahead of time that you are not coming in. There may not be a penalty. But if you know call no show? I’m sure there are some reprecussions. So in either case you aren’t there but one is certainly worse than the other.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Resting players at the end of the season is traditional, ubiquitous and therefore expected. The league won’t fine anyone for that.

      If you do it at the beginning of the season, and during a major primetime matchup, like the Spurs did, then the NBA is going to have a problem. Pop messing with everyone’s money – a big no no.

  2. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Pop got in trouble for resting 3 guys in one game, what’s the league going to say about this?

  3. bougin89 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    The Pacers are waiving the white flag early because they know this is a game they just can’t win. The Bucks are just too tough.

    Yeah, I’m going with that…

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Watch the Bucks win!

      • dexterismyhero - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        how did that work out?

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Just checked now, looks like the Pacers won by 2.

  4. johnnyg1021 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Spur got fine for resting guys a month into the season. There’s like 8 games left, that’s y. Plus Pop has don’t that move, DNP (old), many times and league got fed up.

  5. kb2408 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    This move clearly shows Vogel has no clue how to get the Pacers out of their free fall. They’ve struggled for a month and now a one game rest is gonna right the ship. Really, Vogel?!! If they lose to the Bucks he’s going to look foolish. The Spurs are clearly the best team in the league and an older team, they deserve some rest AND it won’t hurt them. The Pacers are neither.

  6. antistratfordian - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    The Bucks will find some clever way to lose.

    • bougin89 - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      How are the Pacers going to matchup with the Bucks? We’re loaded with matchup nightmares…

      Brandon Knight. OJ Mayo. Zaza Pachulia. Middleton. No way we can lose this one.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:46 PM

        Finding optimism at the end of a 14 win season. That’s awesome.

  7. chiadam - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Now the Bucks will only be down by 25 at halftime.

    Yep, Bucks jokes never get old.

  8. 5xchamp24 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    how does resting your players for 1 game, game #79 of an 82 game season, get you rested for the playoffs?

    • kinggw - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      I don’t think that’s the goal. I think the Pacers core is mentally exhausted. Vogel is simply trying to give them a break. I don’t believe he is naive enough to think a few games of rest is going to fix their problems.

  9. 12444uggg - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    It’s lucky for Frank that coming off of guys saying “give us time off” a half game out of first with 5 games to go they have the Bucks. In fairness, why not play the starters today, and rest friday against the Heat? Get the game you can get.

    Whatever, I get it and I’m not against it, but as with most things, timing is everything.

  10. Jeff - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    What happened to winning the East?

  11. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    TANKING! They realize that the better matchups come with the #2 seed are better than #1. The Heat realize this too, that’s why LeBron got blocked at the rim last night.

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