It’s no secret that the Indiana Pacers are an exhausted bunch. Paul George and David West approached head coach Frank Vogel about taking a few games off prior to the start of the Playoffs, which he readily agreed to. From the team website:
Tuesday’s Pacers practice at Bankers Life Fieldhouse had an unusual feel to it. With a welcomed second off day between games, Pacers coach Frank Vogel opted to give his starters the day off from practice.
“I think rest and healing up nagging injuries is part of the solution,” he said before catching the team’s flight to Milwaukee. “It’s not the whole solution but I think it’s part of it.
“Obviously we haven’t been very strong with our shot making of late. Our defense the other night was as bad in terms of containing the basketball as we’ve been all year. I think that has to do with legs and commitment. We just want to be mindful of making sure we’re as fresh as possible going into the playoffs.”
Vogel said veteran David West and Paul George, both of whom have played and started all 78 games this season, thought it would help and suggested it “in a very positive way.” Roy Hibbert has also yet to miss a game.
Lance Stephenson wasn’t in the lineup for two games and George Hill has missed five, but Vogel says Hill has more than made up for missed time by playing extended minutes in the absence of backup C.J. Watson, who is hoping to return on Wednesday.
“Paul, David, and Roy have played every single game and that’s rare, especially when you play 18 games in a month with 11 road games,” said Vogel.
In hindsight, Vogel said he regrets not giving guys nights off during their busy March slate.
“I think there was a consequence to that and I think our guys look worn down,” Vogel said.