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With top spot secure, Pacers to rest George, West, Stephenson, Watson Wednesday

Apr 15, 2014, 4:41 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Monday night Erik Spoelstra and the Heat threw in the towel on the chase for the No. 1 seed — they sat LeBron James and Chris Bosh, then promptly lost to the Wizards. Miami cannot pass the Pacers for the top slot now.

So Indiana’s coach Frank Vogel is going to rest a lot of guys in a meaningless game Wednesday against the Magic.

Paul George, David West, Lance Stephenson and C.J. Watson get the night off, reports Scott Agness of

Roy Hibbert and George Hill will start and at least play some minutes. Apparently a couple guys forgot to get Vogel a birthday present this year.

This is different than the Nets situation because nothing is on the line for Indy.

The Pacers will open the playoffs this weekend against the Atlanta Hawks and they have home court for every series (they are 35-6 at home, 20-20 on the road). For a team that has struggled lately Atlanta is a perfect playoff first round opponent — a tune up. A chance to play meaningful games against a team that can’t really hurt you and get the kinks worked out before things get serious in the second round (likely Brooklyn or Chicago).

But for Wednesday, everybody rests.

  1. whitehothoops89 - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Why is he doing this? If anyone needs the rest it is Hibbert, whose rebounding totals have declined dramatically these past two months.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      Maybe Vogel feels it isn’t as much a rest issue but more a confidence or motivational issue. Perhaps it’s a classic case of a big slacking because he’s grumpy about a decrease in touches (his lowest since his rookie year). Maybe they think they can get something back if Hibbert eats well for a game.

  2. indyzown - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Lmao…. listen
    Nobody ever said it would be easy… 1 goal accomplished home court…The media manifested this whole slump situation, yea we started off hot then coasted….All roy has to do is hit the proverbial, ” easy lay up ” .. get his confidence back & defend “vertically ” Pacers finna roll.. shhhh don’t say I didn’t tell you 😉

  3. 12444uggg - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Hibbert needs to show something on the court. At this point it’s a confidence thing for him, and this is a good opportunity for him to pull some boards, score 10 points and block some shots. Things he hasn’t done in awhile.

    Pacers in 5.

  4. pacersfan1 - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Big Roy is trying to hard to get out of the funk that he is in. I hope he will go out in this last game and have fun. All pacers fans can only wait and see if the real Roy Hibbert will show up in the playoffs. Also George Hill come on maaaan! Go! Pacers!

  5. kb2408 - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    I was feeling a little concerned about my pick of Indy to rep the East in the Finals. But now I’m feeling confident again. So much has been made of Indy’s struggles in the second half of the season that the focus has been taken off of Miami’s struggles. They have been just as bad as Indy. Home court for Indy and a broken down D. Wade will decide who goes to the Finals, that’s if both teams make it to the conference finals, which isn’t a given.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      People aren’t talking about Miami like that because 1) they haven’t been as bad as Indiana and 2) they are given the benefit of the doubt being 2x defending champs with so many proven winners.

      And, you know, they have LeBron James. When the last two similarly dominant players (Jordan and Shaq) were going for their first three peats they also only managed to secure the 2 or 3 seed with 50-some wins.

      In other words, you can’t compare the season of a team that is supposed to be hungry for their first taste of the finals, to one that has already won it twice in a row. They are playing under different conditions.

    • ibleedaquaorange - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      Enough with the Pacers fan “we’re in the same boat as the Heat” logic. They’re not even in the same ocean.

      Indiana didn’t win the last two titles. If you want to blame their struggles on complacence, it’s wholly unearned. There is no reason they should be dogging it in the regular season. No VALID excuse, anyway.

      When you’ve been sitting on top of the mountain for two years, complacence is expected. The Heat have a right to lose focus in the regular season; it’s nothing more than human nature.

      • tashab03 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        They’re not in the same ocean and yet they took them to 7 games last year? And it’s ok for the Heat to play like crap because the won the last two years? Lol You Heat fans are hilarious.

      • crush22 - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        Hey Dolphin fan….you even been watching the NBA lately? You bandwagon Heat fans are going to be disappointed when they don’t even make it to the Eastern Finals.

  6. thevikesarebest - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    They blow.they will be lucky to make it past the first round.

  7. cantonb0und13 - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    P. Millsap is going to look like C. Barkley against the Pacers.

    • dynasonic - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      76ers Barkley, Suns Barkley, Rockets Barkley or TNT Barkley? My money is on TNT Barkley. Millsap is going to get drunk and make fun of Shaq.

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