As I mentioned in an earlier article — Frank Vogel’s early trash talk would get him and his Indiana Pacers into some trouble. And like the old saying goes: “If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk.” — and clearly Vogel and co. couldn’t close the deal.
Vogel elected to leave 7 -foot- 2 Roy Hibbert on the bench in the closing minutes in overtime. LeBron James took full advantage of the empty Hibbert-less lane and drove all the way to the hoop to score with 11 seconds left in overtime, to put the Miami Heat up by two.
During Indiana’s final possession, Dwyane Wade made a critical defensive mistake — he fouled a jump-shooter, and to make matters worse, he fouled a jump-shooter who happened to be shooting a three. Paul George ended up making all three of his free-throws to send the Pacers up 102-101.
However, there was 2.2 seconds left in the game. Just enough time to drive through the lane and score a basket.
Vogel thought otherwise. In the post game press conference, Vogel thought Miami would only have enough time to shoot a perimeter jump-shot, thus leaving Hibbert on the bench, in favor of a more quicker, athletic player capable of guarding the perimeter. Clearly a costly mistake…
With only 2.2 seconds left on the clock, Battier inbounded the ball to LeBron James, who quickly darted down the lane and scored on a left-handed layup to win the game 103-102.
Vogel has faced scrutiny all day from this obvious coaching mistake — take a look at the shrapnel of criticism on Twitter:
Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out?
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 23, 2013
Especially with 2.2 left, Hibbert HAS TO BE in the game, camped in the lane, so LeBron is forced to shoot a jumper or at least the FTs. — Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) May 23, 2013
Every1 is talking about Hibbert not being in game. The problem is giving up a str8 line drive. It’s impossible 2 help on Blow Byes — Frank Martin (@FrankMartin_SC) May 23, 2013
LeBron scored two late baskets at the rim without Roy Hibbert in the game. cbsprt.co/INDMIAGM1
— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) May 23, 2013
And by the way, I’m sticking to my prediction — Miami Heat in five.