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Larry Bird: ‘I back Frank (Vogel) 100 percent’

Apr 14, 2014, 11:44 AM EST

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Not long ago, the Pacers could have been mounting a Coach of the Year campaign on behalf of Frank Vogel.

Instead, they didn’t sound entirely pleased with his performance. Pacers president Larry Bird, via Bob Kravitz of IndyStar:

“A lot of times, we don’t take the fight to them (the opponent),” Bird said Tuesday, before the Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Boston Celtics 94-83 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “A lot of times we sit back and wait and see how it goes. And that was the case even when we were winning a lot of games early in the season. We’ve got to be mentally prepared to really go after the teams we’re playing again. We can’t have the mindset it’s just another game; it’s a very important game. All of them are.”

And that was before the Pacers went through a 9-9 stretch (ongoing) marred by disarray.What does Bird think of Vogel now?

Bird, in an interview with Dave Furst of RTV6:

I back Frank 100 percent. There was some things early on this season, like I said, I went to him and told him that we needed to clean everything up.

Admittedly, I was intrigued by the idea of Bird replacing Vogel on the bench this late in the season. I didn’t necessarily think it would help – I believe Vogel is a good coach, and there would be an adjustment period for Bird – but it sure would have made for compelling theater.

Now, it’s too late for a change. The Pacers will almost certainly stick with Vogel, so what else is Bird supposed to say at this point?

Really, I’m interested to see whether he sticks with 100 percent if the Pacers don’t reach the NBA Finals.

  1. kb2408 - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    The Pacers main issue is the lack of a true point guard. Hill should not be a starter, he’s not really a point and he’s not very good. Getting Roy’s head together would help too.

    • tashab03 - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      I agree. It seems like Vogel refuses to see and/or address this.

      • jkirby317 - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        They have the no. 1 seed in the eastern conference and accomplished ALL of their team goals so far…
        but yea– the coach just doesn’t seem to get it. smh.

  2. ravenswhat - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    I thought it was pretty clear last year when Vogel took Hibbert out of the game on D and they allowed Lebron to score a layup- that he was in over his head.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      The real issue on that play though was that Paul George overplayed LeBron on the perimeter, which allowed LeBron to drive past him immediately after catching the ball.

      Having Hibbert available on that play *might* have helped if Hibbert managed to get in position quickly enough to block or alter the shot, but I honestly don’t think Hibbert could have gotten there.

      Remember, LeBron scored the basketball less than 2.2 seconds, and in this scenario, Hibbert would have been guarding Chris Bosh out on the perimeter, and Hibbert isn’t very mobile.

      • Aberam - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        I’m not saying it would’ve worked, but Hibbert would’ve probable sagged off Bosh to help inside. Bosh, of course, would’ve had an open jumpshot, but a Bosh 3 or mid range shot are somewhat better than a LeBron layup, I think.

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        And lets not forget that Popovich and the Spurs did the exact same thing by taking out Duncan at the end of game 6 – the Heat must provide a match up issue in that situation for 2 coaches to do almost the exact same thing.

      • batoujitsu - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        I think the matchup issue is bosh’s ability to hit from long range. If bosh got open jumpers in eother scenario agaibst the pacers or spurs people would say “why did they leave hibbert/duncan in the game when they are too slow to close out on bosh?”

    • jkirby317 - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      He is the same coach that turned the dumpster fire that was the Jim O’Brien “team” into the no. 1 seed in the East.
      Really, he is the Head Coach of the number one team in the Eastern Conference. That is clearly impressive.

  3. antistratfordian - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    “I can’t believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T. I’m disappointed. I never thought it would happen.”

  4. lenbias34pt - Apr 14, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Classic.

    The question that needs to be asked;
    Does Vogel back Bird’s decision to add The biggest mental case in the NBA(Bynum) and trade Granger for Turner?

    Prior to that Frank Vogel was the NBA coach of the year leading the best team in the league.

  5. antistratfordain - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    “I hate my pathetic life so I post snide comments on E-V-E-R-Y article about a team I don’t watch or have any stake in other than the fact I’m deathly afraid my favorite team will lose a playoff series to said team.”

  6. void96eater - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    The Pacers are weak at the most fundamental positions: the 1 and the 5.

  7. Jeff - Apr 14, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Uh-oh, that 100-percent comment is the kiss of death.
    When I read or hear that, the coach is typically gone by the end of the season.

  8. jkirby317 - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Best coach in the NBA!
    The Coach of the 2014 NBA Champion Indiana Pacers….
    Frank Vogel!

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