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Rest might be too late for Pacers

Pacers starters' massive minutes this season might have taken their toll

Updated: April 10, 2014, 4:00 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

A week after getting embarrassed by the San Antonio Spurs, the Indiana Pacers came to the realization that they have to pace themselves.

Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

On Wednesday, Indiana coach Frank Vogel raised eyebrows around the NBA when he announced he would rest all five of his starters against the Milwaukee Bucks. This, after he benched his Defensive Player of the Year candidate Roy Hibbert, who is one of the largest human beings in American sport, in the second half of Sunday's blowout because he "looked worn down."

The Pacers are taking a breather for the first time this season. The Spurs have been doing this for years. The Pacers wouldn't be the first team to piggyback the Spurs. Gregg Popovich rests his stars in the regular season because it's the smart thing to do, even if it's not the most macho thing to do. (If you haven't noticed, the Miami Heat have told Dwyane Wade to sit 27 games this season -- and counting).

We're learning that rest is an essential ingredient to long-term success, as we've learned through injury technology such as Catapult Sports. This line of thinking is taking hold in the NBA.

The Pacers are resting up. But is it too late?

The damage might be already done.

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