http://www.indycornrows.com/2015/3/16/8225313/fresh-legs-should-give-pacers-edge-in-playoff-raceBy the time Paul George completed an inefficient 4-for-17 shooting night against the Knicks last March, he had run a total of 172.4 miles through 68 games -- the fourth longest distance in the league during the 2013-14 season, as expanded upon here by CBSSports.com's Ken Berger. As the season wore on, the legs of Indy's two-time All-Star wore down. After kicking off the season shooting a blistering 48.6% from the field in October, George's numbers steadily declined with each passing month, connecting on just 41.0% of his field goals in January and a woeful 37.2% of his attempts in March. In retrospect, fatigue clearly was not the only thing ailing the Pacers during their second-half swoon; nonetheless, it is difficult to deny that it was not one of many contributing factors.
On the year, four of the Pacers' starters averaged over 30 minutes per game and two of them (Paul George and Lance Stephenson) racked up over 35 minutes each contest. By April, Indiana's starters led the field by a wide margin when querying basketball-reference's line-up finder for 5-man units in descending order of minutes played. Recording 1422.1 minutes of game action together, the only other two teams in the league to even come close to that staggering minute total were Portland's starting unit with 1290.6 and Golden State's with 1051.9.
Now, instead of running on fumes, the Pacers' fresh legs are helping them gain momentum and giving them an edge over their competitors.
According to NBA.com/stat's Player Tracking data measuring speed and distance, Solomon Hill has run the longest distance for the Blue-and-Gold this season. Coming in at 131.9 miles, the second-year Pacer has run approximately one and a half marathons less than Paul George (172.4) ran by March 20 of last year.
More importantly, no player on Indiana's roster averages over 30 minutes per game this season. Rather, the Pacers have nine players averaging over 20 minutes per contest and eight players averaging at least 9.0 points per game.