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Dear Coach Vogel: On Behalf of Pacers' Fans Everywhere, Please Stand Down

A plea to Frank Vogel.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know if you've heard, Frank, but 2011 has passed. Gone. Poof. Vanished. Like David West's once-stellar post game.

Back then, a playoff push was an admirable goal. Your plucky group of youngsters was cutting its proverbial NBA teeth while thirsting for an opportunity to cleanse the JOB virus from its Blue-and-Gold entrails. 

And it met the challenge well, finishing the season on a 20-18 run, and swagging and battering its way through a hard-fought, five-game series against the Chicago Bulls.

Those were fun times: Danny Granger talking made-up trash. Tyler Hansbrough splashing elbow jumpers like it was 1980. Jeff Foster flagrantly bruising in the middle. An out-hustled Carlos Boozer screaming over phantom fouls. Jon Barry creepily ogling at Derrick Rose. Rose slithering, contorting, and scoring at will in the lane ... and getting swatted mercilessly by Baby Paul George.

Fun times, indeed. Looking back, you might be tempted to re-create the scene in 2015, but how about this bit of advice: let's not and say we did.

Four years later, things are different in Indianapolis. A lot different. No longer do you have a team replete with promising youth and a Roy Hibbert-sized chip on its shoulder. It's a team without its best player; a team snake-bitten by serious and nagging injuries alike; a team saddled with see-saw effort vets; a team nearly devoid of any young, moldable talent.

That's where I come in. Seventy-five games in, we can all admit it now (some of your fans were ready to admit it even before the season began): your team doesn't need a worthless playoff shot. It needs an injection of talent, one best obtained in Smallmarketdom through the draft.

No one's talking about the "T" word here, Frank. We get it by now: you and the rest of the organization will never go there. But in these last seven games, if you choose to be a tad less inspiring when motivating your guys, or if you choose to sit an aging vet with a "lingering" hammy or back problem, or if you choose to let Solomon Hill go Allen Iverson ... well, then your draft-sleuthing fan base promises to forgive you. And so does my bank account.


"With the ninth pick in the NBA draft, the Indiana Pacers select: _________________."