The Indiana Pacers with freshly-minted, interim head coach, Frank Vogel play the Toronto Raptors tonight. Talk about hitting the ground running. After Vogel was announced as the team's new coach taking over for Jim O'Brien yesterday, he'll be coaching a game on his first full day on job.
Maybe the sudden change will be a good thing for the Pacers. The players should feel a jolt of energy whether in the form of relief or a fresh opportunity to show their worth to the team. Plus, they can't hide behind the consensus that nearly all of the problems the team has had over the past two months was Jim O'Brien's fault.
Considering there will be little Vogel and staff can alter on such short notice, the players won't be asked to do anything unfamiliar tonight. It's just that anything asked of them tonight will come from a different voice. In his introductory news conference, Vogel told everyone to "sttay tuned" to find out how the team will change for the rest of the season. Personally, I can't wait to tune in tonight to see how the team responds to the big change.
The game tonight against Toronto begins a favorable, four-game stretch followed by games at Clevland, home against Portland and then at New Jersey. The Pacers should have a shot at winning all four of those games and if they want to keep those playoff hopes brewing they better start winning tonight.
After the jump, plenty of links with stories about the coaching change.
PACERS: Pacers relieve O'Brien of coaching duties
Full coverage from Pacers.com including links to video of press conference.
Vogel inherits a big challenge bu, frankly, he's up to it
Bruno checks in with the Pacers' interim coach after his introductory press conference.
Vogel named Pacers interim coach | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com
Mike Wells reports on Vogel treating his interim gig as a great opportunity.
Pacers owner Herb Simon likely made the call to oust coach Jim O'Brien
Bob Kravitz pins JOB's firing on Herb Simon and wonders if Bird will be the next to go after the season.
- Players hope change spurs playoff run - Mike Wells reports on the players' reaction to the coaching change.
- Larry Bird spreads blame for Pacers record - Mike Wells reports on Larry Bird not using Jim O'Brien as a scapegoat for the poor results this season.
Pacers fire O'Brien - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Woj reports that Mike Brown is the primary focus for the Pacers long-term coaching plans.
In naming Vogel interim coach, Pacers looking toward future
In firing Jim O'Brien on Sunday, Indiana makes Frank Vogel the NBA's youngest head coach. Larry Bird hopes the 37-year-old can again fire up the Pacers' young players and maybe make the playoffs.
- Pacers Fire O’Brien – Stay Tuned
- Jazz notes: Pacers haven’t called Corbin about vacancy | The Salt Lake Tribune