The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

May 23, 2013

Pacers miss golden opportunity

WASHINGTON — The Indiana Pacers had the Miami Heat right where they wanted them in the waning moments of overtime Wednesday night, but they couldn’t get out of their own way long enough to secure their most important playoff victory in more than a decade.

The Pacers played even with the defending champs in their building for 52 minutes, but the final minute of overtime of Game 1 in the Eastern Conference Finals might doom them for the rest of the series.

With the game tied at 99 with 24 seconds to play in overtime and Miami holding possession, Indiana coach Frank Vogel inexplicably removed his best defensive weapon - 7-2 center Roy Hibbert. Miami noticed this substitution immediately and LeBron James predictably put the Heat ahead with an easy layup.

By the grace of some luck, Indiana’s Paul George was fouled on a 3-pointer by Dwyane Wade, who fouled out on the play. Indiana was only in this position because George tied the game with .7 seconds remaining in regulation on a desperation 32-foot 3-pointer.

George made all three free throws and the Pacers had a one-point lead with only 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime. Despite the disastrous outcome of the previous Miami possession, Vogel removed Hibbert once again for the final play.

Sure enough, James caught the inbound pass, darted past George and put in the game-winning layup as time expired. The Heat had protected home court and the Pacers were left wondering what could have been.

Vogel is regarded as one of the bright young coaches in the NBA, but his decision to remove Hibbert not once, but twice will not be forgotten.

This wasn’t just another loss. Indiana was given little chance, if any, to win this series and they had just squandered a golden opportunity to take a one-game lead. These kinds of chances don’t come around ever against a team like Miami.

Text Only
Columns
  • Learning from the examples of Jesus I was reminded again on Thursday night at our church's Maundy Thursday service about humility and obedience. As part of the traditional service, we not only take part in communion, but have a foot-washing service. On the evening before his death, Jes

    April 19, 2014

  • The past is prologue When I left Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, I watched a lot Barr-Reeve leave depressed and disappointed. The Vikings had lost a heartbreaking Class A final and I think a lot of people were wondering how and why. I'm not sure if either question n

    April 1, 2014

  • A Viking team to remember All roads lead to where you stand. And today, the Barr-Reeve basketball team will find themselves at center court of the Class A State Finals. Whether they win or lose is now irrelevant, as their legacy has already been written. This team will be rem

    March 29, 2014

  • Those hard working worms When the word "worm" comes up in conversations, there is often a wide range of ideas as to what people think about worms. Someone may think of a worm as a creepy, crawly thing that wiggles around in the earth, that young boys used to tease young gir

    March 25, 2014

  • Long live the Big East It first started when I was a student at Indiana University in Bloomington and I didn't quite understand. Most of my friends and people I would meet while watching college basketball wondering how on earth I couldn't be a crazed Hoosier fan, despite

    March 22, 2014

  • Twigs give Leatherwood its name One of our lesser known Indiana shrubs also has a rather unusual name. This is the leatherwood. A usually short shrub, it only grows to a height of around six feet, leatherwood receives its name from the soft leather-like twigs that extend out from t

    March 18, 2014

  • 'Old-school' sharing found in different ways The concept of sharing has taken on a new meaning since I was supposed to have learned it many years ago. What we all know, or supposed to be taught, was to let others take part in your good fortunes. When we all learned about sharing, it was over ou

    March 15, 2014

  • How far was Hooterville from Walton's Mountain? I have always said that television is the one item that binds my generation together (the generation that still watches televison, talks on phone and asks people for directions instead of using one device for all three). And with that in mind, it ma

    March 8, 2014

  • Time to seed the state tournament

    The Indiana boys basketball state tournament got underway Tuesday night as the most exciting month in high school began. As the old saying goes, "In 49 other states, it's just basketball, but this is Indiana." With that in mind, the IHSAA needs to to take a long look at seeding the state tournament.

    March 7, 2014

  • The pen is mightier than the sibling GD (Grand Dad) came to town for a visit recently and before he left I heard him ask Ava if she would to write something for his newspaper back home. She said she would but I could tell by the look on her face that she didn't really want to. She was p

    March 6, 2014