Frank Vogel and the Indiana Pacers have lost three straight games following Sunday night’s 129-126 loss against the Denver Nuggets on the road. Not only have they lost three straight, they have also looked incredibly rough doing so on both ends of the court.
As one can easily see from the final score of their game against the Nuggets, the Pacers have not been playing very good defense recently. Vogel has been very upset with their lack of effort on that end of the court. He made his displeasure very well known after the game against Denver, talking to the media about his belief that defense will lead to wins for Indiana.
— FOX Sports Indiana (@FSIndiana) January 18, 2016
Indiana looked like a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference at one point in the season, but have fallen off in a big way in subsequent weeks.
Larry Bird made some major roster changes during the offseason and wanted Vogel to put small lineups on the floor to try and score a bit more than they have in years past. Vogel has tried to do that, but the defense has fallen off when trying to do so. He has tried to play both ways throughout the year, but the defense hasn’t been where it needs to be.
They have allowed 98.8 points per game this season, which is ranked eighth in the NBA. Those numbers may not tell the full story, however, and Vogel knows that.
Vogel sees the Pacers slipping in the standings in the East. They have a 22-19 record on the season thus far, which puts them tied for seventh place with the Boston Celtics. If they didn’t have the tiebreaker on the Celtics, they would be dropped down to eighth place in the conference.
Expect to see the Pacers rebound from their struggles and get back on track. Defense risky moving forward for them and Vogel won’t rest until they get things turned around.