Pendergraph popular on bench, in Indy


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The Pacers' Jeff Pendergraph shoots around the New York Knicks' Chris Copeland during the Pacers' victory Thursday in Indianapolis. PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON


INDIANAPOLIS

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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