One month into the 2013-14 NBA season and the Indiana Pacers have already started claiming some hardware. On Monday, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel was recognized as the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for October/November. This was Vogel’s second time winning the award in his coaching career.
The Pacers got off to their best start in franchise history as they finished the month of November with a 15-1 record. Vogel has been instrumental in the Pacers maintaining their defensive dominance from last season. The Pacers are currently first in points allowed (85.6) and opponent field goal percentage (38.7).
Indiana is firing on all cylinders to begin the season despite Danny Granger’s continued absence and a retooled bench that Vogel is still trying to figure out a rotation for. They received a big boost by having the entire starting lineup from last season return, which cut out any initial chemistry issues they might have had.
Vogel also received some help as Paul George has emerged as an early MVP candidate, Roy Hibbert is leading the Defensive Player of the Year department, and Lance Stephenson is making a solid case for Most Improved Player of the Year.
The only downside you could throw out is that the Pacers played the easiest schedule during October/November. But to be fair, even if it’s considered the easiest schedule, the Pacers and Vogel still had to game plan and execute every game, which they did almost perfectly.
Vogel and the Pacers head into December with probably one of the toughest stretches any team will face this year as the play the best teams in the league over a 10-day period. If Vogel keeps the team playing at the same level he did in October and November, then he may add another piece of hardware at the beginning of January.