Reserve inspires Pacers, even with little court time


The Pacers' Jeff Pendergraph shoots over a New York Knicks defender during Indiana%u2019s 81-76 victory Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON


Before every tipoff, the Indiana Pacers form a circle and jump in unison around a certain player who grimaces, shouts and waves his arms in an effort to create a motivating frenzy.

But this ritual isn’t led by All-Star center Roy Hibbert. Or budding All-Star Paul George. Or veteran power forward David West. Or any other starter, for that matter.

The man in the middle of it all is 6-foot-9 reserve forward/center Jeff Pendergraph. He never starts, doesn’t always play but is always the pregame rallying point.

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