With Frank Vogel now in the driver's seat, you know that the youth of the team is going to get plenty of minutes. And I think you can expect some losses against talented teams such as Portland and Miami. Still, our schedule is so weak that the Pacers can easily get back in the top 8 teams in the East. In my opinion, the most important game in the near future is against a division opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks.
The way the Bucks rebounded in our last meeting, I think Boykins probably out-rebounded Hibbert. The Pacers simply couldn't (or wouldn't) block out. Then Foster failed at the rim and Bogut got the split-second tip-in inside the last second of the game to seal the win for the Bucks.
As of late, the Bucks have showed they can close out games, something Indiana hasn't shown since 2006. If Vogel is going to make a name for himself in Indiana, the game against Milwaukee is one of the most important. Plus, they'll get an entire game closer to that last playoff spot if they get the win.
The February 12th meeting is on a Saturday, meaning the Bucks will probably have a good crowd to cheer against the new-look Pacers. Let's hope Vogel can rally his troops to get back in the playoff picture.
Larry Bird had better hope so, or Simon's patience might be over, as well as Bird's Pacers career.