Time to Remove The Interim Tag

Posted by By at 28 April, at 22 : 33 PM Print

The Indiana Pacers were eliminated in five games by the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, but don’t let that diminish what Frank Vogel did during his time as the interim head coach. Under him, the Pacers went 20-18 and made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. This doesn’t appear to be enough for Larry Bird to had over the keys yet though. He’s said that he still wants to explore other options, but would interview Vogel first. Bird was complimentary of Vogel’s work in his stint as head coach saying:

“I think Frank did an excellent job, stepping in without the experience of a head coaching job. The way he conducted himself, he brought positive energy to this team. We won more games than we lost. We did it with a young team, a team that’s trying to grow.”

It was an up-and-down stretch for the pacers, as their record of only two games over .500 under Vogel would indicate. They started out well, winning seven of their first ten. They would follow that up with a rough patch that would see them lose eight of nine. They rebounded from this tailspin to win ten of their last fifteen to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

In a first round series that many thought would end in a sweep at the hand of the top-seeded Bulls Vogel showed why he deserves to be given a chance to start next season as the team’s head coach. If you didn’t watch any of the games and only looked at the final series game count of 4-1 in Chicago’s favor you would have a hard time seeing where I’m coming from. If you watched the series, you know exactly where I’m coming from.

Since day one on the job Vogel has been confident in his ability to be a head coach and instilled that same confidence in his team. That confidence showed from the opening tip of their first round series. You could easily make the case that the Pacers should’ve won the first two games and probably the third as well. The only game that looked like a matchup between the top seed and the bottom seed was the series clinching game that Bulls pulled away to win 116-89 and were dominant throughout. In the other three games Indiana was the better team for three quarters of the game and with some better defensive plays down the stretch or getting a shot to fall that didn’t they would’ve put all the pressure on Chicago and we might be talking about one of the biggest first round upsets.

I’m not sure who Bird might be eying as possible candidates to contend for the job along with Vogel, but he doesn’t need to look much further than the home team’s locker room at Conseco to see who his players are endorsing.

Dahntay Jones is behind bringing Vogel back next year:

“It would be a breath of fresh air to know we have some stability and some consistency. Frank’s done an excellent job in the interim. When he’s coaching us, the focus is on the positive, helping us get better, helping us find a niche. He’s done a great job with us.”

Tyler Hansbrough felt that Vogel did a good job as well. His minutes going up after he was named coach might have something to do with it:

“I don’t know what they’re going to do. I’m not a part of that process. But he’s done a good job.”

Short of bringing in someone with more experience and better track record of regular season or post season success like a Mike Brown, or maybe Mike Woodson I say stick with Vogel. He’s got the backing of the players and as Dahntay Jones said, stability & consistency are important. If Bird decides to go another route, I’m pretty sure this won’t be the only 38 regular season and 5 post season games on Frank Vogel’s resume as an NBA head coach when it’s all said & done.

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  1. Jack-off, 8 years ago Reply

    WHat the Pacers did to the Bulls was nothing short of amazing. Granger proved to be a superstar, and the rest of the team pushed Chicago to the limit. Vogel should return nexgt year, and get a serious contract for what he did.

  2. JonnyP, 8 years ago Reply

    Bird had better sign that man, or he’ll be coaching elsewhere.

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