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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: PACERS v HEAT


June 3, 2013


Frank Vogel


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Seven

Indiana Pacers -76
Miami Heat - 99


Q.  Seemed like the game completely changed.  You're down one, take Paul and Roy out at the same time.  They go on that run and get up ten points.  Was it more of a pattern thing, your rotation, your decision on taking those two out then?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  That's what we've done the entire playoff run.  That was the rotation we used.  That happened to be the time they made their run.

Q.  You guys have been able to hold down Dwyane Wade for most of the series.  What was different about his approach tonight from what you saw?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  Clearly he had the will to try to back up his words.  He was going to try to do everything possible, whether his shot was falling or not.  He had the mindset to impact the game in any way he possibly could.  And he did it defensively with deflections and particularly on the offensive glass, where he exhibited great effort.

Q.¬† Frank, obviously Ray stepped up, hit the three three‑pointers.¬† Sort of like Dwyane, were you figuring it was only a matter of time with a guy with a pedigree like Ray, that he would at least once in this series have that sort of moment?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  No question.  No matter what the numbers look like, we always had a great deal of respect for his ability to explode like he did, and Wade's ability to explode and Bosh's ability to explode.
And so, yeah, we were hoping to keep them down for one more game, but we weren't able to.

Q.  Frank, they only scored I think eight points off of your 15 turnovers in the first half.  Can you talk about nine in the first quarter, it reduced the number of shots you were able to get.
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  They taught us a lesson.  This team has been there before.  They have been to the championship.  They've won it all.  And they know how to ratchet up their defense at a level that just imposes their will on a basketball game.
Our guys didn't handle it well in the first quarter.¬† First half, really, all together.¬† And we knew that 15 turnovers in a half‑‑ in a game was probably going to equal a loss tonight.¬† So to do it in a half was dispiriting.¬† You have to give them credit.

Q.¬† Along those lines, with their defense, it seemed they were blitzing and double‑teaming off the pick‑and‑roll and doubling down.¬† How much do you think that impacted what you were able to do offensively?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  Just the level at which they did it.  It's definitely what impacted us and forced their turnovers.  You have to give them credit for their defensive pressure in terms of our turnovers.
They've been doing that the last couple of games.  We've handled it better than we did tonight.  Obviously with their season on the line, they just brought a whole another level.

Q.  Frank, you guys have one big free agent this summer in David West.  How important will it be for this team to bring him back?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  Very important.  David West is a big part of our team.  Our intent as a franchise is to try to bring back our whole core for next year and hopefully get Danny Granger back.

Q.  What was the first thing you told your team after the game?  How would you describe the locker room?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  They're disappointed.  They felt like we could have won this series.  They wanted badly to win this series.  So I think disappointed but encouraged about the future.
And what I told them is to keep their heads extremely high.¬† We accomplished a great deal.¬† No one in the world gave us a chance to get this far.¬† Danny Granger goes out the day before the season starts.¬† We lose him basically for the whole year.¬† We start 3‑6.¬† We have early struggles.¬† And we overcome an awful lot to grab the nation's attention.
And how everybody in this country knows who the Indiana Pacers are now.¬† And we represent all the right things:¬† Class, character, hard work, old‑school basketball, playing the game the right way.¬† We represented our franchise, our city and our state extremely, extremely well, and we have a lot to be proud of.

Q.  Frank, Erik made an adjustment tonight clearly putting LeBron James on Paul George for much of the time.  Dwyane Wade didn't have to be on Paul George.  How do you think that affected Paul, and how do you think it might have affected Dwyane Wade in his improved performance tonight?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:¬† I think Dwyane would have had a good night whether he was guarding Paul or not.¬† I think he's that level of a competitor.¬† LeBron guarding Paul probably impacted him some.¬† He's the best player in the world.¬† Maybe the best defensive player in the world.¬† They don't always put him on‑‑ give him the primary assignment for the whole game.¬† But at crunch time in any individual game throughout the season, he's guarding the best guy.¬† And this whole game was sort of crunch time for them.
So you can understand the move, and you have to give credit to LeBron.

Q.  When Paul walked off the court, Frank, you seemed to embrace him in a hug.  What did you say to him when he fouled out?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  I said I am extremely proud of him.  "I can't believe you've come this far in your third year in the NBA."  He's got a lot to be proud of and keep his head up.  I'm very proud of the game he played and the season that he had.

Q.  To keep going with the line of conversation about Paul, LeBron needed to get to a Finals and lose.  LeBron needed some disappointments before he could truly evolve.  I know it stings in this moment, but how much big picture is this going to help him, just the experience on this stage?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:¬† It's going to help him tremendously.¬† There's obviously a growth pattern where you have to go through steps.¬† And each of his first three years in the league he's just taking not small steps, but huge steps in personal development and helping our team take huge steps in re‑emerging as a force in the NBA.
I think this experience, just like last year's experience against Miami, helped us get to this level, helped him get to this level.  I think this experience is going to help him that much more.

Q.  It was the first time they really hurt you guys at the line tonight in the series.  What did they do differently?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  They were just aggressive.  They just had that killer instinct, that look in their eye that they weren't going to be denied.  Their ball movement was spectacular.  That's what really led to a lot of the chain reactions of our defense and allowed enough driving lanes.
But they were also relentless in crashing the glass at all positions.¬† Not just their big guys, but they were all coming.¬† So they just‑‑ look, they just had greater experience and greater know‑how, and they were able to reach a higher level than we were.¬† That's what led their free throw totals that they got, and you have to credit to them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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