When things aren't going well, a collection of proud athletes naturally look to themselves for the answer. Hero ball is often born from desperation when all else fails. For the Pacers, reaching that point is a recipe for disaster.
For much of the past two seasons, the pressure on the starting unit, not necessarily any individuals, has been high due to the sporadic production from the reserve unit. Then when things among the starters get tough, the pressure to make plays that aren't there mounts.
That was not a problem on Friday, when Evan Turner and Luis Scola fueled a reserve run in the first half that gave the starters a boost along with an extended break before they took over the game in the third quarter.
"It alleviates pressure for everybody out there," Paul George said about the strong second-unit play. "When the ball is not sticking and everybody's sharing it, then it's not a guy having to put everything on his shoulders to go out there and make a play."
Roy Hibbert enjoyed what he saw from the bench as well, with the second unit moving the ball and scoring, using their effort as an example for the whole team to follow.
"I always say, when people are involved they play a lot harder," Hibbert said. "To see Scola run the floor, Ian blocking shots, playing good defense because then you don't have to play one side of the court. It's human nature to want to be involved and you may not get the shot but just touching it and moving it and feeling it."
Hibbert finished his comments nodding positively, as if feeling that energy and desire to get back on the court all over, again. He won't have to wait long as the Pacers face another tough task in Memphis on Saturday night.
Frank Vogel went to a 10-man rotation, adding Chris Copeland to the mix in the first half in an effort to spread the court and give Evan Turner more room to make plays. With Copeland, Scola and Turner the offense has to click because normally, that trio will be a defensive liability. But against the Bulls they were all strong at both ends of the floor.
By spreading the wealth so well on Friday night, fatigue on the second night of a back-to-back shouldn't be a big factor against the Grizzlies who also had a tough game in Miami. More important is the ability of the Pacers to rely on each other to execute and deliver on both ends of of the floor once again.