Indiana's Frank Vogel Eating His Words
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."
He 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.