The Indiana Pacers are a completely different team since they fired Jim O’Brien and promoted assistant, Frank Vogel, to head coach. Since taking over, Vogel is 7-1, including three-straight victories, and currently has the team sitting at the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, nipping at the heels of Philadelphia and New York. For most of the season, the Pacers defense has been among the tops in the league but O’Brien’s offense was too inconsistent. Under Vogel, the Pacers have simplified their offense and are now getting everyone else involved, not just Darren Collison and Danny Granger. This change in their offensive philosophy has resulted in the younger players playing with more confidence and the team averaging 107 ppg. This new style of basketball has translated into wins and they hope to continue that tonight as they travel to Miami to take on the Heat.
Danny Granger joined WQAM in Miami to talk about what the strength is of the team and how far they will get in the playoffs, how the team flows offensively and defensively when the team is playing well, and what the biggest change has been with the team since firing Jim O’Brien.
Who he considered the greatest shooter ever is:
“I mean I got to say Reggie Miller. I got to say Reggie regardless of what they say playing for the Pacers or not, I just remember watching Reggie growing up. It is either Reggie or Larry Bird, there you go, one of them two.”
What the strength is of the team and how far they will get in the playoffs:
“I think we have a great possibility. We just recently made a coaching change two and a half to three weeks ago and we have won nine out of ten since that change so with the way we are playing right now we definitely want to be in the playoffs. It just depends. Going into the playoffs you really have to have good team chemistry. Only a few of us have been there from my team so it will be a good test for us and we will see what we have really.”
How the team flows offensively and defensively when the team is playing well:
“When we are playing well, obviously, I do a lot of the scoring, but I think one of our biggest strengths is we have a lot of guys that contribute on a gamely basis and sometimes we don’t know where it is going to come from. It might be one of our bench guys that help in, one of our starters might do well so I think right now that is one of our biggest strengths. A few games ago Dahntay Jones came in the fourth quarter and scored 19 points and blew a game wide open. So I think that is one of our biggest strengths right now.”
What the biggest change has been with the team since firing Jim O’Brien:
“Well I think before we made the coaching change we were a top three or four team defensively in the league but we couldn’t score. Our offense was kind of sputtering along so I think after we made the coaching change we tried to simplify our offense, just ran more pick-and-rolls, more ball screens, more post-ups, more iso’s and things like that, and our offense has become a lot more efficient. We are scoring over 100 almost every game. Our younger players are playing with a lot of confidence and I think that was our biggest change, we just simplified our offensive scheme.”