IC Cold Links: Pacers come back but can't hold on against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh

INDIANAPOLIS - FEBRUARY 15: Tyler Hansbrough #50 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball during the NBA game against the Miami Heat at Conseco Fieldhouse on February 15 2011 in Indianapolis Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

What a roller coaster last night was!  I was sitting in Conseco Fieldhouse last night with my wife, and I looked around and said, "this is what it used to be like all the time!"  The crowd was awesome last night.  Sure there were the trendy "HEAT fans" with their LeBron James and Dwyane Wade jerseys, but for the most part people were there to see the new-look Pacers team.  My wife is from northern Ohio, so she wasn't around Indy when the Davis boys, Rik Smits, Mark Jackson or even when Reggie Miller was still around.  I felt like I was watching a past Miami HEAT v. Indiana Pacers playoff game.  Those games were very tough games back and forth and had a lot of shoving and brute force, which is exactly what the Pacers showed last night (after the first quarter).

Tyler Hansbrough came in, flexed his muscles and started a trend for the rest of the game.  His play really pushed the Pacers in a different direction through the course of the remainder of the game.  Of course, Wade, James, and Chris Bosh came up big in the fourth and were able to pull the game out.  However, this team had their 25 and under squad in during crunch time (except for when Dunleavy came in for a bit), so it will take them time to learn how to win these big games down the stretch.  After the jump, check out the links of the day and find out why I appreciate extending the game at the end...

Coach Vogel not only extended the game at the end, but he used timeouts for explanations to his players.  The game was still very close, but some coaches would have taken the loss a little quicker towards the end by simply fouling.  I really appreciate his persistence to foul and keep the clock alive, but what I really like was that he was calling timeouts and explaining ideas, concepts, thoughts to them while they were happening.  Vogel understands this group is young and you don't necessarily have knowledge of how to pull out a win if you haven't been taught.  He took time, drew out plays and helped them with teaching moments at each possible opportunity.  The Pacers, obviously, still have to pull out a W against these big-time teams for them to get some major recognition.  But, I am enjoying watching these guys learn and play together.  I felt like I was back in the 90's watching the brute force the Pacers possess.  I am very excited to see how they bounce back tonight against the Pistons.  A few weeks back, this game would make me nervous, but I expect them to come out and want to redeem themselves...

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