Pacers stars refuse to rest
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON — The Indiana Pacers are finally where coach Frank Vogel has been waiting to be for more than a week.
Their playoff spot, the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, is locked in. Now Vogel has the opportunity to rest some of his tired and injured players in the final two games: Tuesday at Boston and Wednesday against Philadelphia at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, before the start of the playoffs this weekend.
But there’s a problem: Not all of his players want to sit out.
West, Hibbert and George may play some in the final two games, but they won’t play normal rotation minutes.
“I have to think about it,” Vogel said. “Obviously resting George (Hill) is the first priority. We also want to rest a lot of guys at different levels. I doubt they play in both games. We’ll make decisions.”
The Pacers haven’t been the same team since returning home from its 4-0 road trip against Western Conference teams two weeks ago.
They’ve gone from being a team a lot people talked about reaching the Eastern Conference finals, to one that could get beat in the first round. The Pacers have lost four of their last five games.
The Pacers will play the Atlanta Hawks or Chicago Bulls (Atlanta has a one-game lead for the fifth seed, Indiana will face the sixth) in the first round. Games 1 and 2 will be played at the fieldhouse.
The Pacers locked in the third seed when Brooklyn lost to Toronto on Sunday. The Pacers have the tiebreaker over the Nets because they won the Central Division.
The toll of having to defend the opposing team’s best wing player and also to score has finally caught up to George. It’s also impacted his confidence.
He’s 17-of-60 from the field (28.3 percent), including 6-of-28 … [For more on Pacers locked into playoffs, but stars refuse to rest, click here.]