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Frank Vogel trying to get Pacers focused on their own problems, not referees

May 27, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 4 Getty Images

There’s a lot of finger pointing going on in Indiana. Both Paul George and David West complained about the officiating after Game 4 and suggested that had something to do with the Pacers wire-to-wire loss to the Heat.

(Didn’t hear Pacers players thinking the officiating was an issue when they got 22 more free throws in Game 1. They got to the line in that game because they were the aggressors — Sunday night Lebron James had 11 drives from outside 20 feet to inside 10 feet, scoring 10 points; Paul George had zero. In the series George has 26 attempts from three and 16 inside 8 feet of the rim. You get the idea.)

Frank Vogel is working to get his team focused on the series again, not the officials. Check out what Vogel said Tuesday, as reported by John Schuhmann at

His Tuesday morning message to his players before they flew back to Indianapolis was to “worry about what we can control. We know we’re going to have to play through adversity on the road in the playoffs. Our guys just need to put their focus on what we’re doing.”

“We can’t control calls. We got to control our turnovers, our shot selection, our passing, our defense.”

Bingo. The Pacers came into the playoffs with the best defense in the NBA in the regular season, allowing just 96.7 points per 100 possessions. Against the Heat — a team they were built to slow — they are allowing 111.5 per 100. They are turning the ball over more than they did in the regular season as well, a cardinal sin against Miami.

Bottom line, this isn’t on the officials.

I think George, West and the Pacers know that. They are just frustrated. Miami does that to teams. Vogel is just trying to get his team to focus for a night, but that has been a challenge all playoffs long (and into the end of the regular season) for the Pacers.

  1. finsfan71 - May 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Good luck Frankie baby, these guys have all but checked out.

    • antistratfordian - May 27, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      “Counte not thy chickens that unhatched be, Waye wordes as winde, till thou finde certaintee.”

      The Pacers aren’t just going to lay down. Game 5 is probably going to be a slugfest. Down to the wire.

      • finsfan71 - May 27, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        anti that would not be surprising to me. They have good talent but are mentally weak. If the Heat play with the same intensity the Pacers will wilt.

      • antistratfordian - May 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        Wilting is indeed their history in elimination games against Miami – but it just feels a little different this time. To their credit, the Heat have the right idea about Game 5 – they all said they know it’s going to be a very tough game to win. In order to do it, they have to find a way to bring the same energy from Game 4 but without the home crowd fuel.

      • Kansachusetts - May 27, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        I don’t think a heart transplant is in the cards.

        Nothing was sadder than watching Paul George stand on the three-point line like Jeff Green and wait for someone to get him the ball late in the game. No sense that he should be the one taking control.

        And then watching LeBron get the ball on a turnover and sprint down the middle of the court while George sort of lopes over too late to face up to Lebron, who turns him this way and that before blowing by him. No real sense of urgency.

        And then the slumping, sulking, body language by George and Stephenson every time they get beat on a play. And Hibbert’s tentative putbacks. All the drive and courage has evaporated.

      • antistratfordian - May 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        Well about George standing on the three-point line like Jeff Green waiting for someone to get him the ball late… that’s what Kevin Durant does and he won an MVP for it.

        There is an issue with the direction of their offense and I’m not sure it falls on the players.

  2. prareedoggin - May 27, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Im not surprised at George’s latest excuse. That’s all he does. Also I love how all offseason and all season all they talked about was how the only reason Miami won and went to the finals was because they had home court. So there goal all year was to have homecourt and with that a game 7 on there floor and a sure fire series win over Miami. They got what they wanted and now look like idiots full of excuses. You talk crap all year and when its time to man up you get whooped. Instead of taking it like a man and owning your defeat and crediting the other team, they are full of excuses and lies. Next year the pacers will be vastly different.

    • prokilla - May 27, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      I wonder if Indy will now shut up. talk is cheap… wow, Roy Hibbert o points, 5 rebounds..
      Shut up now….!!!!

  3. thekiller678 - May 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Even if you hate Miami, you can’t deny how foolish Indiana and it’s players look. Spent the season talking about getting homecourt and how they want the Heat in the ECF. Not only do the almost get upset by a sub .500 team in the first round, they lost that homecourt they fought for all season in a blink of an eye in game 2. Now the players are complaining about referees, throwing teammates under the bus and taking shots at the head coach.This Pacer team needs to add pieces, they are not equipped to even win the East right now, let alone and NBA title.

  4. nfl4days - May 27, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    This team is so soft mentally it’s pathetic.

  5. cantonb0und13 - May 27, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Sources: Roy Hibbert bought tickets for family vacation on March 1st. The flight is schedule on May 28th. It’s all starting to make sense now.

  6. sportsfan18 - May 27, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Coach… that will take TOO long…

    these little boys have way TOO many problems to try and address them all…

    Good luck sir.

  7. eechaze - May 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Frank Vogel should be let go. He has lost control of the team. The players don’t play hard for him. He is being out coached. He just doesn’t get the players ready for games mentally and play set wise.
    With all the talent on that team you would expect better. Go for Mark Jackson and add Rondo as a pg

  8. jzone954 - May 27, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    I just hope no one took kb24 prediction and tried to put money on it…

  9. ravenswhat - May 27, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Vogel is an awful coach. His rotation strategy is just high comedy. At one point he had George, Hibbert & Davis sitting in the 2nd qtr. he’s clueless.

  10. papichulo55 - May 27, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Why all the hate? The Pacers biggest problem is the Miami Heat! Take a look back at some of the defeated teams of other Three-Peater eras. A lot of HOFers were denied Rings by those Lakers, Bulls and Celtic teams. Contrary to that commercial, Karl Malone should not have any shame. He simply played at the wrong time. So…, lets just give these Pacers a mild round of applause, and get ready for Spurs-Heat Part II.

  11. marcusfitzhugh - May 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Don’t try to compare this broken Indy team to Utah. Have you forgotten just how good Utah was? The Stockton Malone Jazz went to the Finals TWICE IN A ROW and lost to the Bulls. Not the just the conference finals, but the big show. The Jazz won 60+ games both years and had to face LA and Houston in the playoffs both years. In 1996/97 Houston was 57-25 and LA was 56-27. The following year LA won 61 games and Utah swept them in the playoffs. Who has Indy played? Atlanta and Washington. Atlanta lost 44 times last season and took them to the 7th game. The only reason Indy is in the ECF is because the east is weak. If they were in the west, the only team they could beat would be weak minded Houston.

  12. ebecks34 - May 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    They’ll blame Hibbert’s goose egg on the officials also?

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