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No surprise Frank Vogel remains upbeat about Pacers season

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The Pacers coach enjoys attacking challenges others consider futile, so it comes as no shock that Vogel is ready to maintain high expectations for his short-handed roster this season.

USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to create a positive scenario for the upcoming Pacers season after the loss of Paul George and Lance Stephenson leaves the team ready to start the season without two critical weapons from last season.

But if you ask Frank Vogel, he can deliver a positive scenario or two without breaking a sweat. Veteran NBA scribe, Steve Aschburner was surprised to hear Vogel's upbeat outlook, but found it hard to believe what he was hearing from the Pacers coach.

Yet to look at and listen to Vogel last week, you'd have thought Larry Bird had dialed a time machine back three decades with the idea of reassigning himself from team president to starting small forward.

"We're going to be fine," Vogel said. "We've got more than enough to compete with the best and we're going to have another great season. Our approach is, we're going to try to not skip a beat."

Vogel's fingers were not crossed. There was no whiff of rum in the room, and he wasn't talking in Comic Sans.

Aschburner went on to try and get Vogel to go off the record and feel free to discuss reality and how he really feels about his team heading into camp. Naturally, Vogel confirmed his positive outlook on the season, which is certainly no surprise.

That's what he does.

We're talking about a guy who has literally made a living targeting goals that appear far beyond his reach at a minimum and down right nutty at the max. Vogel left Juniata College thinking he might just roll into Kentucky and find a way to work with Rick Pitino.

Roughly 15 years after making that ridiculous goal come true, Vogel was not only making a great living as a basketball coach in the NBA, but he found himself as a head coach on an interim basis for the Pacers.

Vogel then elicited a round of chortles from all of us as he described his plan to turn an underachieving, 3-ball chucking Pacers team fading in the East into a smash-mouth, defensive-minded team that was going to win their way through the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs.

We then watch slack-jawed as the Pacers finished 38-20 and did make the playoffs in 2011.

So, yeah, no Paul George? Lance Stephenson gone? Nothing will change Vogel's approach as he goes to work with the hand he's dealt and tries to figure out a way to make it work.

That's what he does.