Pressure still on Vogel after slide in recent months.
Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is reportedly ‘coaching for his job’ despite a 56-win season and after tying their opening round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
According to ESPN sources, Vogel is still under pressure after the Pacers went through a slump to end the regular season, and although they did achieve parity against the Hawks in Game 2, his job isn’t necessarily safe if they advance.
It is understood that the decision will rest with team president Larry Bird, but it has been reported that frustration within the organisation has been growing since February as the Pacers went 16-15 to end the regular season after starting 40-11.
Expectations were raised following trade moves for Evan Turner and Andrew Bynum to add depth to the roster along with the likes of Luis Scola and C.J. Watson, and Bird had expected his trade deals to make the difference in getting the Pacers back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2000.
Meanwhile, Lance Stephenson has acknowledged that he was engaged in a scrap at practise with team-mate Turner, although reports of punches being thrown were dismissed by both players, the coach and their team-mates.
Center Roy Hibbert insisted that every team has these kind of incidents but it wasn’t considered a fight, but Stephenson is gradually building a reputation of being a difficult personality after previously clashing with George Hill on the bench during a 26-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on March 31.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Pacers can now string some strong performances together and get back to the brand of basketball they played at the start of the season, but the pressure is undoubtedly on Vogel to prove that he is the right man to guide them to where they feel they should be.