Frank Vogel is getting better as a head coach but he made some decisions that ended up costing his Indiana Pacers their series against the Miami Heat. In Game 6 alone, Vogel used his bench too much, which allowed Dwyane Wade to get into a rhythm, which gave Miami needed momentum.
See, I think Frank Vogel is one of the best young coaches in the league, but he got too attached to his bench. They just could not match up with Miami. He did not realize that and it cost his team the series. Too often his bench gave up a big lead or allowed Miami to make some open shots. Those shots gave Miami much needed confidence.
I mean, I take nothing away from the Heat. Wade was going supernova the entire game minus the first eight minutes or so. Vogel did help him out, however, by putting Leandro Barbosa on him. Barbosa probably couldn’t guard the best guy in a rec league, much less Wade. This let Wade make some easy baskets after an early struggle and he never fell out of sync after that.
The team also imploded multiple times in Game 6. Lots of unforced turnovers, which show a sign of nervous play. Vogel should have took a couple of timeouts to get people settled down but in never happened. Miami was able to roll off some big runs because of sloppy play.
Frank Vogel will be just fine, but this series will serve as a teaching point. It is okay to go away from your bench. They will understand if you do not play them. Loyalty is big, but you can not let it cloud your judgment. The Pacers do not have a good enough bench to hold steady against Miami in the long run.
The Pacers gave the Heat everything that they wanted and more. Frank Vogel made some good moves, but his inexperience ended up hurting his team. He will learn from this and the Pacers will be back in contention next season. Too bad they will spend this offseason wondering about what might have been.