The Coaches’ Gaggle — Frank Vogel & Steve Clifford 2/26/16


As the Pacers try to avenge a 22-point loss to the Charlotte Hornets on this floor two weeks ago, here are some of the things the two coaches were talking about pre-game.

Frank Vogel on how he’ll use Rodney Stuckey in his return:

"“[The trainers] are saying 15-18 minutes, but it probably won’t be that much. I’ll probably use him in 5-7 minute bursts – once in the first half, once in the second half.I’ll probably get him in at 5- or 4- minute mark in the first, and use that 2:59 timeout and the quarter break [to help rest him].”"

Vogel on Myles Turner – despite being ahead of the curve – needing to learn patience in the post:

"“We want to allow time for some cuts to take place. We don’t want it to be just a one-on-one play. I’ve always felt the post offense is a five-man offense. You throw it in there, and you look for cutters, and you space. Once that all clears, then you go into your move. That’s just one of the things we’re working on with him right now.”"

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Vogel on specific areas of improvements from the last Charlotte game he wants to see:

"“Well, we gotta do a better job with Kemba [Walker]. That guy’s a little jitterbug, and he’s very, very difficult to stay with. He’s got a great burst going to the basket, but also that step-back. If you over-respect his drive, he can rise up and get into his shot. We’ve got to do a better job of matching up in transition. We’ve got to do a better job staying home – not over-helping at the three point line, and minimizing breakdowns that lead to open threes.”"

Steve Clifford on his team’s points of emphasis for the rest of the season:

"“Just make progress. Get better. Play every game and learn from it. I told them yesterday that a bunch of teams can not only make the playoffs, but can get a home seed. It’s gonna be the teams that get better. You can get better in little ways. With your defensive technique – that’s what we did a lot yesterday. Whether it’s containing the ball better, helping better, it’s not just a guy that’s gonna emerge and score more over these last 25-26 games. It’s gonna be every aspect of the game, and the teams that have that attitude, will get better, and they’ll make it.”"

Clifford on the value of watching film:

"“When you’ve played 56 games, you have to be able to learn in different ways. It can’t just all be on the floor. The players that learn best from film, give them the best chance to play better.”"

Clifford on diversifying Al Jefferson’s offense:

"“[Jefferson] runs out of the post much more now, than he did. [The Pacers] are very well-coached. If it’s a play call, it doesn’t matter if it’s a post up or a pick-and-roll to get to the post up, they’re gonna know what’s coming. He’s not getting a shot, if they don’t want him to. That’s the negative of the post up game – you can always take it away.“What we need to get good at – and, actually, [Al’s] doing a good job with it – is just playin’ ball. Just run out of the post, screen more to set up his post up, where there’s no play call. It forces them defensively just to be playing, and when the ball’s thrown into their post, then they have to get into their scheme. Defensively, there’s a huge difference – I don’t care if it’s a pick-and-roll or post up – between knowing what’s coming vs. just playing randomly.”"

Clifford on facing a Pacer team they had defeated easily in the last matchup:

"“I don’t think there’s any trap. [The Pacers] are good. We played a good game, that night, and I know they were disappointed in the way they played. I think we play [each other] tonight, we play next Friday, and they’ll both be difficult game. I don’t think from an emotional standpoint, it’s a challenge. It’s playing well. Playing well.“Tonight’s going to start with taking care of the ball. To me, their big strength defensively, besides protecting the basket, is they create turnovers and turn those into layups. That’s what we have to start with. We’re going to have to run good offense, so that we have a chance to (a) get good shots and (b) set our defense.”"

Next: Halftime Thoughts - Hornets at Pacers 2/26/16

The Pacers and the Hornets enter tonight’s contest with only 1.5 games separating them. With one loss to Charlotte in the Fieldhouse already, this game carries added weight as Indiana heads down the home stretch.