T.O.: From the reports today it looks like he will. I think Vogel is a fantastic coaches, but just like with players, sometimes being in the right situation can make or break you. I think Vogel lost his team near the end of the year, he couldn't control Lance, and his locker room got divided. I'm not pinning this all on Lance, but the Bob Knights and Gene Keady's of the world never lost a locker room. You can still care about your players and show them some tough love from time to time. Also, Vogel needs to trust his bench. He has a young team, but you can only push guys so hard and so long before their legs give. On top of that, if a player goes into a slump or gets into foul trouble, particularly in the playoffs, you need to have guys that can step in, Vogel didnt do that. He's a great coach, but if I am Larry Bird... Vogel has a short leash.
M.M.: Yahoo Sports is reporting that Frank Vogel will be returning to the Pacers. This has effectively squashed the rumors of Mark Jackson being in contention for the position, but let's be honest, that was a rumor made up by the media because it had good "legs". Personally I think Vogel deserves one more year based on his track record and the clear path from "worst to first" he has taken the Pacers on the past few years. The concern I have with Vogel as a coach is his inability to utilize the bench. It has become a common story that players who were starters on other teams struggled on the Pacers bench and players who were on the bench in Indiana flourished as starts, or even bench players, elsewhere. Vogel needs to figure out how to utilize his bench so his starting five have enough gas for the playoffs - otherwise another exit to the Miami Heat will cost him his job at the end of next season.
B: He stays, but as the gents above have said, he is on a short leash. Also as previously stated, he needs to better utilize the bench and how to right the ship when a game/season is starting to get away. I can't begin to fathom how hard it is to coach professionals making millions of dollars but in my opinion, Vogel was too soft with the team at times when they were letting things get away from them. If Vogel can make these adjustments in the off season, his leash might get longer.
T.O.: I would not pay Lance All-Star money. He is the Ricky Henderson of basketball. Puts up great numbers, but you get a lot more than the stats when you sign him to a deal. Talent... oh yes he has talent... and athleticism... but the dumb T's, the sporadic play, the need to prove himself, the media issues... I just don't know if he is worth having around. If you can get him at a fair price, maybe keep him around... if not, a sign and trade is a huge win for the Pacers in my book.
M.M.: Lance Stephenson needs to go. Honestly I have really enjoyed watching Lance grow up and mature(???) over the past few seasons but his true colors are starting to show. I know we are ten plus years removed from the brawl in Detroit but Pacer fans remember it like it happened yesterday. Some of Lance's antics, to be honest, send a chill up my spin. Reggie Miller provoked players but not to this level and Lance got the pot boiling over at points. I hate to say it but the Pacers need to continue to protect their image for a little longer - Lance is a threat to that task. Lance is also going to be asking for big dollars and this is a pivotal time for the Pacers. They can only strap themselves so tight with contracts and adding another big contract on top of Roy, George, Paul and David could put the Pacers in a bad position moving forward.
B: I agreed all season with Reggie Miller in that sometimes you need a guy on your team that is a little crazy. Lance was that guy...was. He absolutely lost his mind with all of the antics and flopping in the Miami series. I liked that it looked like he was getting to LeFlop but his mouth needed to stay shut when talking to the media and the flopping especially late in games 2 and 3 was utterly useless because we could have used him on offense instead of rolling on the court. My opinion on flopping in any sport is why? The majority of the time you don't get the call (unless you're the Heat) and the play continues and now your team is down a player because you're faking a foul and rolling on the court/field. OK getting off my soap box, the Pacers should look to shop Lance, I think his ego is too detrimental to this teams progress going forward and could probably help strengthen the team in the long run. I understand keeping him, he's super talented but he's going to looking for big money and I don't think the Pacers can afford it.
T.O.: I think Hill needs to stay. He is a big community guy first of all, but more importantly with the big contract and the down year, we would not be dealing from a position of leverage. I think he is a good player, but maybe not the point guard of the future for this team. He is a good spot up shooter, if we can pair him with a distributor, maybe slide him into the role that Lance had last year, and run a pseudo 2 pg set up... I think that could be very affective.
M.M.: I am a huge George Hill fan but it time for him to go. I hate to say this but George is getting over paid and he doesn't run an offense like a true point guard should run an offense. I was shocked when the Pacers pulled out the check book for Hill and despite him being a fantastic person this is a business and the Pacers need to find a good home for Hill and bring in one or two other players position scorers. To be honest I think C.J. Watson would be a stronger starting point guard at this point in the game. If the Pacers can get a good trade then I will still cheer for Hill wherever he lands - unless he is playing against the Pacers.
B: I'd keep him but at a discount. His play was streaky and many times nonexistent on offense. He can make some great plays in crunch time but if half his shots fell we wouldn't be in crunch time. I say we keep him for the time but he needs to get his FG% up. Oh and stop missing late game FTs!!
T.O.: He stays in my mind, but I think he needs a mental adjustment. He is looking at the boxscore far to often to be good for him. He is far to worried about his touches and getting what he deserves... and he is to quick to slump after 1 bad game. He is S-O-F-T ... not physically, but mentally. He needs to do his job. And that is to keep the other team from getting good looks in the paint. If he does that, I guarantee he gets looks on the offensive end. That said, his offensive stats should have no bearing on his defensive effort, and we all know that was not the case in 2014.
M.M.: Roy Hibbert needs to stay and figure out how to be the big man that started this season. Hibbert is a hard worker but as T.O. points out he is mentally soft. Hibbert needs to stop trying to improve his game and concentrate solely on being consistent. I want Roy to put up 8 to 12 points, 8 to 12 rebounds and 1 to 3 blocks a night. The Pacers don't need 28 points a night...they don't need 10 blocks a night but they do need solid, consistent performances where Roy rebounds, adds a little offensively and is a threat on the post all game.
B: He stays but he's not worth the huge contract he got. He needs to man up and not be soft. His play down the stretch and a good majority of the time in the playoffs was abysmal at best. He can't do that again. Roy needs to get tougher both physically and mentally. I agree with Brian, we don't need him to having huge offensive nights but he made his name last season by his defense (the block on Melo), that went away this season and in the playoffs. I'm sure some of that was fatigue. He's a big dude and I'm sure it takes a lot of effort to get up and down the court night after night but he needs to be stronger. Also, he got stripped or dropped passes way too often. I wish he would squeeze the ball and go up strong when the ball comes into him.
T.O.: Turner proved to be the Goat for a sinking ship going under. I think given a chance he can do alright. He never got going offensively after the trade and never gelled with a second unit that well... never gelled. I hate to pin this one on Bird, but if he drafts better last summer this trade may not have been necessary. I would keep Turner and give him a real shot, I don't know if he'll get one with the Pacers though. (Note: Danny was unhappy with the Pacers before the playoffs folks, main factor: Lance being Lance)
M.M.: Evan Turner returning to the Pacers is all going to depend on what happens with Lance and how much money Turner can get in another city. Personally I am not a fan of Turner. I think he is slow on both ends of the court, doesn't pass the ball and is only effective when his jump shot is falling. I personally would save my money and pursue someone completely different at the shooting guard position.
B: I agree with the above. If Lance stays, Turner is gone. If Lance goes Turner stays. This is unfortunate because I'd rather have Lance than Turner. Evan just didn't seem interested in fitting into the team dynamic. As stated above, he was slow and held the ball for way too long and then put up a jump shot that didn't always fall. This team thrived all season on excellent ball movement and getting great looks. That didn't always happen with Turner. Granted this went away for the whole team at parts in the playoffs. If Turner stays, I hope he tries to become more of a team player because I was not impressed.
T.O.: I would do everything in my power to flip Lance (sign and trade) for a true point guard or a high draft pick. I think the Pacers badly need a distributor to get guys like PG and Hill looks. We don't need scoring at every position, but we need a guy to make things flow on offense. Also, the Pacers looked lost against any pressure in the playoffs, a guy who doesn't stress under that, especially late would be nice.
M.M.: I pretty well covered it above but I would first sign C.J. Watson to a decent contract. Then I would trade ( or sign and trade) away George Hill, Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner. My goal would be to get a nice draft pick, top 20 in the first round, and a new shooting guard. Then I would be drafting a new point guard. New starting five would be Watson, the new shooting guard, Hibbert, West and George.
B: A true point guard would be nice. We said this last season but we didn't get it. So this year if we could get one that would be great. I also agree that if we could flip one of the current players (Lance/Turner) for another first round pick that would be great too.
T.O.: A mental adjustment... A lesson in dealing with the media... a talk on how professionals handle themselves... how champions handle themselves... If we are talking personel then I will go with a Point Guard that creates shots for others.
M.M.: Taylor covered it pretty well and I think that mental adjustment starts with letting Lance be Lance in another city. I love Mr. Born Ready but I think his attitude killed this team towards the end of the season.
B: Mental toughness and yeah, TO covered it pretty well. We let too many games slip away late in the game/quarter and that shouldn't happen for the NBA's "best defense." That needs to not happen anymore.
T.O.: I don't think personel is the biggest issue here sadly. The Pacers are not mentally tough enough to hang with the Heat. Me and the lady watched 'Miracle' over the weekend, and all I could think about is how mentally tough... mentally locked in the players were when they beat the Russians... the best. The Pacers mentally shut down regularly at the end of quarters and halves and wouldn't finish opponents when they had the chance. Those are not characteristics of a championship team... regardless of personnel.
M.M.: Yes. The slight adjustments that I mentioned above could propel the Pacers past the Heat if the Pacers adjust to the Heat like the Hawks and Heat have adjusted to the Pacers. The Pacers lost this series because as Taylor mentioned above there is something going on in everyone's head and that needs to be corrected but there is more to it. The Pacers need to adjust to the spread five offense. I don't know if that means moving to a zone defense so the big's don't have to close out to shooters beyond the arch but a coaching adjustment needs to happen. That is why Vogel is paid the big bucks. Make an adjustment when the style of offense run by the other team is beating you. Then go down and play your style of offense that can the Heat...pound it inside and kick it out when the double team.
B: I agree with what the guys have already said. I think we had the personnel to win it all this year. We didn't have the toughness or the right attitude to beat the heat. Many of our guys tried to stoop to the Heat's game and that was the last thing we should have done. This team needs to learn to lose the attitude and just play ball. I said it earlier in the playoffs and I'll say it again, but the Pacers need to be much more blue collar than gold swagger.