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Frank Vogel defends game-losing call
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 23, 2013 @ 9:29 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — If Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is faced with his team trying to defend the Miami Heat in the closing seconds of a tie game tonight, he will have a plan in place.
It’s probably not going to be the same plan he had Wednesday.
Vogel faced questions about his Game 1 decision. Was it a coaching crime? Did the Heat Miami heist Game 1? Whereas in the immediate aftermath of Miami’s 103-102 overtime victory Wednesday Vogel second-guessed his decision to bench center Roy Hibbert on LeBron James’ winning basket as time expired, Vogel thinks he made the right call.
“If there’s a mistake made, I think you should take ownership,” Vogel said. “I don’t know if it was a mistake.”
Vogel has been second-guessed and criticized for his decision to leave Pacers 7-feet-2 center, shot blocker and rim protector Roy Hibbert on the bench with 2.2 seconds left in overtime. LeBron James caught the ball, took one dribble, covered nearly 24 feet and dropped in a left-handed layup with a fraction of a second to spare.
Vogel defended his decision and didn’t indicate he wouldn’t do the same in a similar situation next time. The Heat had a small lineup on the court — James, Shane Battier, Norris Cole Ray Allen and Chris Bosh — and Vogel’s plan was to play small with so little time on the clock.
“If we just force a second move on LeBron, the clock runs out,” Vogel said. “The plan was sound. The execution of it wasn’t.”
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t comment directly on Vogel’s decision but empathizes with a fellow coach. Spoelstra agonizes over decisions that don’t work out.
“I’ve made my share of incredible blunders,” Spoelstra said. “It’s a painful one.”
Vogel said he doesn’t mind the criticism.
“I understand when the stakes are as high as they are right now, if a coaching move doesn’t work out, you’re going to get second guessed. I’ve got thick skin,” he said. “I don’t mind the media. It’s hard on me because I want to win so bad. That’s where it’s disappointing the most. I want these guys to … [For more on Pacers' Frank Vogel defends game-losing call vs. Heat, click here.]
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