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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: HEAT v PACERS

May 31, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



Frank Vogel


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Six

Indiana Pacers - 92
Miami Heat - 117


COACH FRANK VOGEL:  I just want to say that I'm proud of our team for having a heck of a season, winning 56 games, getting ourselves two wins from the NBA Finals, a chance to compete for it all.
It's bitterly disappointing to fall short of our goals, and it's bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row, but we're competing against the Michael Jordan of our era, the Chicago Bulls of our era, and you have to tip your hats to them for the way they played this whole series, and you just have to go into the off?season with the mindset that we're going to reload, and we have a core, a system, a culture that's going to give us a chance every year.  We've got to make whatever adjustments we have to make to come back and be here again next year.

Q.  Coach, do you think this is more about you guys not being able to reach the level that you were playing at in December, January, or is it more about not being able to beat this team in particular?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  I think it's about not being able to reach their level, yet.  They play at a championship level.  They have a way to raise it to the point that it's too much to overcome.
We've got to take care of our home court.  We had a four?minute stretch in Game 2 that probably cost us the series.
But I think it's about falling short of reaching their level.

Q.  Frank, specifically tonight, after you guys got off to the good start, what happened there in the second half of the first quarter going into the second quarter?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  Well, they executed the heck out of it offensively with their?? what we call their spread?five offense with five three?point shooters out there.  They spread us out.
We had some good looks in the first quarter that we didn't knock down, and they were able to create some separation in the game, and they took it from there.

Q.  I know it's difficult when you look back, especially the last three days, so much attention on Lance and some more stuff going on tonight.  Did it hurt you guys more than it may have helped?  And was it a factor in the last two games?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  It's tough to say.  I don't think it's ever good?? what's everybody call it?  Tug on Superman's cape.  I don't think that's ever good.
But I'll take Lance Stephenson's competitive edge.  Like I said, I just don't think it's good to tug on the cape.

Q.  Frank, I know you mentioned 56 wins, getting two games from the NBA Finals, but you had an uneven second half of the year.  How often did you try to pinpoint those struggles?  And in this moment, can you pinpoint them?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  Yes, I can pinpoint them.  We pinpointed them throughout the season and rectified them and got ourselves two wins from the NBA Finals.
Teams go through ups and downs.  Teams change.  As young players grow, roles change, identity changes, and that's something you have to manage.  We managed it to get ourselves pretty far.
Good luck with your deadlines.

Q.  Frank, I apologize if you've been asked this this morning.  How much does this feel like Game 7 last year, and how much does it not feel like Game 7 last year?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  It feels like Game 6 this year.  It feels like we're down 3?2.
We've got a great belief in our basketball team and look forward to getting the game started.

Q.  Coach, Erik kind of joked about how?? or maybe he wasn't joking ?? about how LeBron could play 48 minutes tonight.  We've seen how you haven't been afraid to push your starters long minutes.  How do you feel generally about how your bench has played in this series?
COACH FRANK VOGEL:  I think they've contributed really well.  I've given them shorter rotations than they saw mostly throughout the regular season, but they performed well when they were in there.


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