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Pacers to rest all five starters vs. Bucks

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Apr 09 2014 04:41:45 PM CDT
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iStock / 33ft

The Indiana Pacers will not play all five starters Wednesday night against the league-worst Milwaukee Bucks, Pacers coach Frank Vogel announced.

None of the starters participated in the shootaround Wednesday and had their third straight day off since the team's embarrassing 107-88 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.

Vogel said after the shootaround that guard George Hill, guard Lance Stephenson, forward Paul George, forward David West and center Roy Hibbert would be held out against Milwaukee.

In their place, Vogel will start Donald Sloan, Evan Turner, Rasual Butler, Luis Scola and Ian Mahinmi.

"The starters are not going to play tonight, all five of them," Vogel said. "We're going to rest them and try to heal up some various bumps and bruises involved with all five guys.

"We're not playing well as a basketball team right now and the starters aren't playing well. Our bench is not playing well. We want to try to get the starters on track by getting their legs back under them and getting them healed up."

The Pacers have won just three of their last seven games, and enter play Wednesday a half-game behind the Miami Heat for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. In March, the Pacers finished 8-10.

Indiana meets Miami for the fourth and final regular-season matchup on Friday night.

"Look, we spent all year with one goal (but at) some point you've got to shift your focus when things aren't going your way," Vogel said. "You (can't) pay attention to what everybody else is doing. Fixing your team (is) the only thing that's on our minds right now. We'll do this tonight. The plan for the starters was two days off (Monday and Tuesday), shooting and conditioning today.

"They'll practice tomorrow and they'll all play in Miami. We may rest some bench guys against Miami. The thought process behind all five guys is, if you sit one or two guys per game then nobody ever finds a rhythm. Finding a rhythm is just as important as getting our guys rest, (that's) part of the solution. So they'll rest this game and they'll all play together and look to find the rhythm Friday night."

The Bucks own the league's worst overall record at 14-63 and also have the second-worst mark at home with only nine wins.

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