The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of one of the most remarkable collapses in recent history. They once sat with a comfortable lead as the one seed in the East, and now they are looking up to the Miami Heat and have won a measly three games in their last 10.
There has been a universal decline in production from significant players such as Lance Stephenson, Paul George and Roy Hibbert. By no means are the players without responsibility for the inexplicably bad play from the Pacers. However, when it’s as if every facet of the team is failing to meet expectations, the one person to look at is the coach.
Frank Vogel let his team get content with their position in the East, and the coasting that ensued has lead to the collapse of the Pacers. Vogel has failed to motivate his players, and now the times are getting desperate.
It’s not as if the Pacers are without talent. George is one of the premium players in the league, and Hibbert was, at least at some point this season, a serious contender for defensive player of the year. When all the talented players are slumping at the same time, it gets to a point where the players themselves are not the only ones to be blamed.
Vogel has now reached the point where he may completely lose his team. After leaving his starters in late during a blowout, Vogel is now “resting” all his starters. This team is playing too pathetically to be able to rest their starters, considering they are half a game back of the Heat.
At the very least, the starters should be playing limited minutes in order to ensure a victory against a bottom dwelling Milwaukee Bucks team.
There was a time when the Pacers may have even been favored over the Heat to represent the East in the Finals. Now, the Pacers need to worry about escaping the first round of the playoffs. Even though the Pacers are more than likely going to draw a team that’s barely over .500, there’s no longer a guarantee they can even win that.
Vogel is on the verge of losing his once championship contender team, and if the Pacers don’t manage to turn this around, Vogel May be looking for another job. After just missing out on taking down the Heat last season, it’s almost unthinkable that Vogel could be out of his job, but an early exit in this year’s playoffs will cement one of the more epic collapses.
Vogel needs to be held responsible for the complete meltdown of the Pacers, and if he can’t get them back on track in the playoffs, Vogel may hit a point that he will not be able to recover from.