Dec 13, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) talks to guard George HIll (3) during a game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Vogel to Rest Three Starters vs. Orlando

According to multiple local Indianapolis media outlets, Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel plans to rest a few of his players Wednesday against the Magic in Orlando.

Sports reporter Dave Furst of the local ABC affiliate, WRTV-6, tweeted that David West, Paul George and Lance Stephenson will all get the night off. The other two starters — George Hill and Roy Hibbert — are expected to play, but the possibility exists they may only see action in the first half.

Here is what Furst said via Twitter:


It is not surprising that Hill and Hibbert are the only two starters preparing to see action. Out of the starting five, they are the two that have seen obvious setbacks in their offensive output of late.

In the last three games Hibbert has played, the 7’2″ center scored a combined five points on a dismal 2-21 shooting from the floor. That includes a 0-5 showing on April 6 in which Vogel benched his big man for the second half, as well as a 0-9 showing Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hibbert added just seven total rebounds in his last three outings.

Hill has been only slightly better in his past three games against the same opposition (Vogel rested all five starters April 9 at Milwaukee). Against Atlanta, at Miami and against Oklahoma City, Hill scored a combined 15 points on 4-13 shooting from the field. He committed four fouls against both the Hawks and Thunder.

Hill did not even attempt a field goal or free throw in 33 minutes of action Friday at Miami.

According to Conrad Brunner of ESPN’s 1070 “The Fan” in Indianapolis, Vogel may pull Hibbert and Hill from the game at halftime:


Along with that, Brunner stated that Vogel also plans to sit C.J. Watson:


These decisions by Frank Vogel seem like the right moves. Hill and Hibbert need more time to re-establish an offensive groove, and a meaningless game — Indy wrapped up the East’s No. 1 seed Monday night — is the perfect time to do that. Watson, on the other hand, has been dealing with a couple injuries of late, but recently returned against OKC to score a season-high 20 points.

The team has stated Watson is healthy, and the decision by Vogel to sit him Wednesday in Orlando is the safe route.

Wednesday’s game in Orlando is the Pacers’ regular-season finale.

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