The Indiana Pacers played a great game against the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Heck, after Paul George made three free throws to give them the lead with 2.2 seconds left, it looked like they were even going to pull off the win. But luckily Miami had Pacers coach Frank Vogel give them an assist.
Vogel inexplicably pulled center Roy Hibbert out of the game for the Heat’s final two possessions in overtime. With 24.6 seconds left in OT, the game was tied at 99 and Vogel subbed out Hibbert for Sam Young. He initially had Hibbert in the game defending Chris Bosh but decided to make the substitution before Miami inbounded the ball for its possession. Hibbert walked to the bench with his head down, clearly upset with the decision.
The Heat, no surprise, went right to LeBron James, who blew by George Hill on a defensive switch for an easy layup to give Miami a 101-99 lead. It would have been nice to have a 7-foot-2 presence at the rim to contest the shot.
The Pacers regained the lead after Dwyane Wade was called for a b.s. foul and Paul George made all three free throws to put Indiana up 102-101 with 2.2 seconds left.
Miami called a timeout to set up a play with 2.2 seconds left, and Vogel decided once again to keep his best defensive player on the bench. You know, Roy Hibbert, the guy who had the legendary block heard round the world on Carmelo Anthony? He was on the bench.
Shane Battier threw a pass to LeBron, who wasted no time going straight to the rim for the winning layup. Heat won 103-102 in OT.
And what did Vogel have to say about it after the game?
“I would say we’ll probably have him in next time.”
Ya think? Good call coach.