Frank Vogel made a major mistake last night, IMHO. I compliment him for everything he has accomplished this season, I admire his youthful enthusiasm, but I question his wisdom today — the day after Indiana’s season ended in a Game 6 loss at home in which the Pacers never fully took advantage of the big-man advantage they had with Udonis Haslem out serving a one-game suspension.
With exactly 3 minutes left in the first quarter, Vogel subbed out David West, who was 4-for-4 at that point with the Pacers leading 21-12.
With 1:29 left, Vogel subbed out Roy Hibbert for Louis Amundson as Tyler Hansbrough was at the line making a pair of free throws that put Indiana ahead 25-17.
West and Hibbert remained on the bench at the start of the second quarter with Indiana ahead 25-18. Here are the Pacers’ first three possessions of the 2nd quarter:
- Offensive foul on Paul George.
- Offensive foul on Tyler Hansbrough.
- Hansbrough’s 4-footer blocked by Mike Miller.
Over the first 66 seconds of the quarter, the Heat got 3s from Mike Miller and Dwyane Wade and another bucket from Wade to quickly tie it. Vogel quickly reinserted West with 10:15 remaining and Hibbert with 8:56 left, but the tide had already turned. Miami had withstood Indiana’s energized start, and the ballgame the Pacers had dominated for the first 12 minutes was tied.
If I am Vogel, there is no way in hell I take West out of the game. Ever, if possible.
Same with Hibbert.
Those guys are my hosses, and I’m going to try to ride them for as close to 48 minutes as possible with my season on the line — especially with Danny Granger playing on a badly swollen ankle.
That’s one of the points I make in the above video with CineSport’s Noah Coslov, in which we also discuss Game 7 of the Celtics-76rs series, and which team would be a better matchup for the Miami Heat.