Not long ago, the Pacers could have been mounting a Coach of the Year campaign on behalf of Frank Vogel.
Instead, they didn’t sound entirely pleased with his performance. Pacers president Larry Bird, via Bob Kravitz of IndyStar:
“A lot of times, we don’t take the fight to them (the opponent),” Bird said Tuesday, before the Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Boston Celtics 94-83 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “A lot of times we sit back and wait and see how it goes. And that was the case even when we were winning a lot of games early in the season. We’ve got to be mentally prepared to really go after the teams we’re playing again. We can’t have the mindset it’s just another game; it’s a very important game. All of them are.”
And that was before the Pacers went through a 9-9 stretch (ongoing) marred by disarray.What does Bird think of Vogel now?
Bird, in an interview with Dave Furst of RTV6:
I back Frank 100 percent. There was some things early on this season, like I said, I went to him and told him that we needed to clean everything up.
Admittedly, I was intrigued by the idea of Bird replacing Vogel on the bench this late in the season. I didn’t necessarily think it would help – I believe Vogel is a good coach, and there would be an adjustment period for Bird – but it sure would have made for compelling theater.
Now, it’s too late for a change. The Pacers will almost certainly stick with Vogel, so what else is Bird supposed to say at this point?
Really, I’m interested to see whether he sticks with 100 percent if the Pacers don’t reach the NBA Finals.
Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.
Gordon Hayward took it from there.
This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*
*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang
Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.
Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.
The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.
But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.
Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.
Par for the course, Gregg Popovich gave curt answers to end his in-game interview quickly.
But David Aldridge tempted the Spurs coach, asking whether he wanted New Hampshire primary results. Popovich walked back to hear the answer.
Told Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won, Popovich shook his head.
Was that disapproval for the Democratic or Republican candidate – or both?