Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is again facing one of the reasons for the team’s demise in the second-round playoff exit to the Miami Heat last season.

Play the starters heavy minutes or roll the dice and hope the bench shows up?

Vogel likely will have to play his starters longer minutes if they expect to beat the Knicks and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“We have to ride (the starters) out more than we would during the regular season,” Vogel said. “When we rest guys in these playoffs, it’s not with the intent of saving them for the next game. It’s with the intent of being sharp in the fourth quarter. The bench guys have to impact the game in a positive way. That way we can keep our starters fresh and we can close the game out stronger.”

The Pacers had a bad stretch — if it was even long enough to call a stretch — from a bench player in each of the first two games of the series.