Frank Vogel doesn't like to match teams if they try to counter the Pacers by going small or in Atlanta's case, loading up the perimeter with shooters. But that only works when your team can dictate the terms of the game. The Pacers haven't done that in months and so with Pero Antic stretching the floor and Roy Hibbert doing nothing of use to counter Antic at the other end, Frank Vogel sat the big fella.
Seems reasonable. Hibbert's not playing well and the matchup is favoring Atlanta, so try something different. The Pacers were still blown out, but Hibbert became more active in his absence than he was on the floor.
I assume Hibbert wanted to give the impression he cared deeply about playing and didn't want to abandon his teammates during a tough game. But instead his act on the bench went quickly from pouting to petulant. Then he bailed on the media after the game leaving David West and others to speak for him and explain how Vogel decided to rest Hibbert in the second half considering the circumstances.
West was actually pretty positive, joining the chorus in calling the loss one of those games with fatigue playing a factor. The Pacers spent nearly an extra day in Toronto after a stray baggage cart put a hole in the plane they were supposed to use. Well, on Sunday night at the Fieldhouse, the Pacers played the role of the plane while the Hawks were the baggage cart. Grounded on the tarmac.
I touched on the Pacers continuing struggles and West giving a glimmer of home in an abbreviated appearance on The Phil Naessens Show.
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