Pacers resting three starters in regular season finale

Nate McMillan, Pacers,

The Pacers will rest three starters in their final regular-season game of the 2017-18 season. Victor Oladipo, Thad Young, and Bojan Bogdanovic will all sit Tuesday against the Charlotte Hornets with the team’s playoff seeding already set.

Indiana is slotted in the Eastern Conference’s fifth spot behind Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. While their first-round opponent is still to be determined — either Philadelphia or Cleveland — Indiana knows it will begin postseason play with games one and two on the road.

Pacers head coach Nate McMillan had said last week that he would likely rest players once their fate was determined. As of Sunday, there was still a slight chance to move up in the standings so they played everyone in a win at Charlotte.

They are 48-33, already six wins better than last season with one to play.

There can be real value in resting guys, especially these three who haven’t had much of a break. The demands on All-star Victor Oladipo have never been greater, Young remains Mr. Consistent and has played in all 81 games, and Bogdanovic didn’t have much of an offseason due to international competition in FIBA EuroBasket with Croatia.

They are 0-6 this season without Oladipo in the lineup.

With a loss, the Pacers could potentially have better draft positioning depending on a coin flip to break a tie. The wild Western Conference is jumbled with many teams still fighting for playoff positioning. Like the Pacers, Portland has 48 wins, and Utah, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City each have 47 wins.

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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