Indiana's Frank Vogel Eating His Words

5/28/13 in NBA   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

Before the Eastern Conference Finals began, there were a few subtle shots fired through the first round of media interviews that sparked the small controversy where each and every sports columnist salivates upon hearing the news. 

Indiana's head coach, Frank Vogel was asked about his opponent in the Conference Finals to which he simply responded, "We're competing for a championship, they are just the next team in our way."

May 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA;  Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) listens in on Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel as he talks to Pacers center Ian Mahinmi (28) , point guard D.J. Augustin (14) , small forward Paul George (24) and power forward David West (21) in the third quarter of game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY SportsHe took some heat for those remarks, even though they seem utterly harmless. Isn't every coach supposed to believe their team can win? He doesn't want to say "Well we're playing Miami, so lets just bow down and exit gracefully." 

He lit a fire underneath his squad and it almost sang to the tune of a 2-0 series lead heading back to Indiana. But the Heat managed to scrape and claw their way to the Game 1 victory before dropping Game 2 caused by two LeBron James crunch-time turnovers. 

However, the Heat fired on all cylinders in Game 3, with Udonis Haslem getting the starting nod over the struggling Shane Battier - and Haslem responded with one of the most efficient offensive games during the 2012 - '13 playoffs, shooting 8/9 finishing with 17 points and 7 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action.

"It's probably the most difficult offense to prepare for in the NBA," Vogel said. "That's the challenge we have ahead of us." 

The Heat are no longer just the "next team" in the Pacers way. They are the team that need just two wins to send the Pacers home early. 
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5/29/13   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

im not sure everyone wrote them off when the series began, indiana had a clear advantage inside and they've exploited it...but i'd be surprised with a game 7. even though the pacers ripped them apart inside in game 4. this series is ending in 6 games. plain and simple.

5/29/13   |   Trokspot   |   65 respect

i'd hardly say eating his words.  the pacers controlled 2 games and the heat owned them on one.  after last night, the series is now even at 2-2 when everyone had written them off before the series began.