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Coach Vogel meets with the media ahead of Game 6

Coach Vogel meets with the media ahead of Game 6

The Pacers trail the Miami Heat 3-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals. Before the team boarded their charter back to Indianapolis, Pacers coach Frank Vogel met with the media Friday afternoon in the lobby of the team hotel. His comments ahead of Game 6 on Saturday are below:

On last night’s 99-92 loss:
“We can play better. I know we can play better. You have to tip your hat. LeBron posed his will offensively but really rallied the troops on the defensive end as well. We definitely have some cleanups and some things we know we can better, and our intent is to do that in Game 6.”

On Chris Andersen shoving Tyler Hansbrough twice:
“I did look at the tape and I have no thoughts that I’m willing to share with the media.”

On whether he shared his thoughts with the league:
“I have no comment on that.”

On how the team is feeling:
“We’re still encouraged. We know we have to play great to beat this team, we know we didn’t play well enough to do it, we’re confident that we can.

“It’s not false talk. There’s a reason I’m confident. I like to tell these guys I’m not an optimist. That’s what my image is. I’m a realist and when I look around at what I see in the room when I’m talk to this team or what I see on the court and the level of execution that we’re capable of and the adjustments that make sense with our coaching staff, which I think my three assistant coaches are the best in the NBA, the intelligence that they bring to the table combined with the talent we have on this basketball team gives me real confidence in this basketball team.”

On Tyler Hansbrough’s right ankle, which he tweaked late Thursday:
“I have no update on that. I think he’s fine. They usually tell me if they think he’s going to be out.”

On what mindset he wants for Game 6 and whether last year’s Game 6 against Miami is in the back of his mind:
“I don’t know what mindset I want them to have. I don’t put a lot of thought into last year. Last year’s series was so dramatically different. Danny Granger was our leading scorer and went down with an ankle injury. We didn’t even know if he was going to play in Game 6. We were pretty sure he wasn’t. But when he did he wasn’t at full strength. And it limited us. Last year is a distant, distant memory. This year’s team has a completely different identity. Last year’s team wasn’t the best defensive team in the NBA. This team is. It’s a different thing altogether.”

On Dwyane Wade’s play:
“We hope to continue limiting his numbers. We know he’s capable of exploding at any time.”

On what makes him believe they can force a Game 7:
“Adjustments. Understanding we didn’t play to our best, which I believe with our backs against the wall we will. Being back at home — it’s not everything, but a small factor. Backs against the wall mentality and the clear-as-day blueprint of all the things I know we can do better.”

On whether he is ok with Lance Stephenson jawing back and forth with LeBron James:
“I don’t care one way or another. I like competitive spirit. I like guys who play with an edge. Lance plays with an edge. He doesn’t typically cross the line with his trash talking. As long as he’s not doing that, I like him playing with an edge.”

On Udonis Haslem’s second 8-for-9 shooting performance in the last three games:
“We’ve got to account for him. He’s a champion. He’s the heart of their team. He’s hit big shot after big shot after big shot. If you over-help he’s going to burn you. So, the concept of stopping the Big Three and getting to everybody else applies to him.”

About The Author

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Scott Agness is in his second season as a multimedia contributor for Pacers.com. He delivers articles, blog posts, interviews, and videos. He is a graduate of Indiana University where he was part of broadcasts on the IU Radio Network, Big Ten Network, IUHoosiers.com and WIUX. He is the founder and editor of VigilantSports.com.

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