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Indiana Pacers: Frank Vogel Beginning To Shy Away From Small Lineup

Over the last 10 games, the Pacers have used their bigger lineup consisting of Lavoy Allen and Ian Mahinmi playing at the four and five spots respectively in seven of those 10 contests. The Pacers have gone 4-3 in the seven games where Mahinmi and Allen have started for Indiana.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers announced at their end-of-season press conference last April that they would implement a smaller, faster-paced style of offense in the 2015-2016 season. The team appeared to stay true to their word, as they would sign guard Monta Ellis to a four-year contract worth nearly $44 million after the departures of Roy Hibbert (via trade) and David West (free agency).

Head coach Frank Vogel would go on to use the small-ball lineup consisting of C.J. Miles at small forward and Paul George transitioning over to power forward for a chunk of the start of the season. More and more over the last couple of months, however, has Vogel gone back to the bigger lineup with George playing in his more familiar position at the three-spot.

Mahinmi has been enjoying one of the best seasons of his seven-year career, averaging 8.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per contest through 35 games this season. Allen has been averaging 5.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.5 blocks through 36 games. While Allen's numbers aren't exactly staggering, both he and Mahinmi have succeeded when on the court together and have helped anchor a Pacers defense that ranks 6th in the league in opponent points per game (98.3).

The Pacers currently sit at the sixth-seed in the Eastern Conference, remarkably standing only two games behind the Toronto Raptors for the second seed and six games behind Cleveland for the first seed. Lately the Pacers have been losing close contests, which is a problem that the team must find a solution to if they want to remain amongst the top eight teams in the east come April. Between the small lineup and the big lineup, Indiana has gotten mixed results in return of their experimentation between the two and must find some consistency and continuity as the NBA season reaches its halfway point.

The Pacers travel to Boston Wednesday night to take on Indiana Native Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics