Pacers Extend Head Coach Frank Vogel
The Indiana Pacers probably aren’t going to do much in the NBA playoffs this year thanks to a leg injury to Paul George. That isn’t stopping the team from locking down head coach Frank Vogel to a long-term deal, however.
Vogel received criticism after his top-seeded Pacers almost crumbled in the first round of last year’s playoffs, but after rebounding and making it back to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row, he appeared to have restored team president Larry Bird’s faith in him.
The 41-year old head coach has reportedly agreed to a contract extension with the team in what figures to be a lucrative multi-year offer.
While retaining a bright mind like Vogel is a positive step, the Pacers have otherwise done little to inspire confidence in the 2014-15 season. Along with losing George with a compound leg fracture, Indiana also let Lance Stephenson get away in free agency and was unable to make a big splash at the point guard position.
Center Roy Hibbert has also been the subject of trade rumors, while free agent guard Rodney Stuckey was the team’s only notable signing in free agency.
With George slated to miss all of the regular season as he recovers from a serious leg injury, Vogel will have his work cut out for him in an increasingly deeper Eastern Conference. LeBron James relocating to the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer makes one more team the Pacers have to worry about, while they have to try to make it back to a third straight conference title series without their star player.
The Pacers may still be holding out some faint hope that George can make a return for a playoff run, but even a magical return may not be enough to save Indiana’s 2014-15 season.
That’s something the Pacers may have accepted by now, however, despite claiming they’ll do everything in their power to make another deep run. Still, even if they’re grounded for this year, keeping Vogel in town was a big move – and the right one – if they want continued success beyond just this season.
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