Frank Vogel reportedly ‘coaching for his job’
Remember that time the coach of a team that finished with the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference was coaching for his job just two games into the postseason? No? That’s probably because Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is the only person it has ever happened to.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Vogel is on the hot seat after the way his team has played over the past two months. The Pacers came away with a 101-85 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night to even their opening round playoff series at 1-1, but Stein’s sources said winning the series against the Hawks would not even secure Vogel’s future.
In other words, it could be Eastern Conference Finals or bust for Vogel. Pacers president Larry Bird, who will ultimately decide Vogel’s fate, seemed to indicate earlier this year that he gets frustrated with Vogel’s overly positive approach.
“I’m sort of going to Frank’s side because he’s had so much success by staying positive,” Bird told The Indianapolis Star. “We do have to stay the course. But I also think he’s got to start going after guys when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. And stay on them, whether you’ve got to take them out of the game when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, or limit their minutes. I will say, he hasn’t done that enough.”
Shortly after Bird made those comments, Vogel told his team to stop complaining to the media about in-house issues. He also made the decision to bench Roy Hibbert for the second half of a game when the center was struggling.
If Vogel is on the hot seat, it’s obviously more about having control over the locker room than it is about results on the court. On Tuesday night, Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a bombshell report about Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson getting into a fistfight that left Turner with a cut before the playoffs began.
Indiana has a lot of big personalities in its locker room. Vogel’s job is to balance talent with attitudes. He has not been effective in doing so lately.