The top-seeded Pacers grabbed a series-tying victory with a lopsided win over the Hawks in Game 2 on Tuesday, but according to a new report, that showing did virtually nothing to quell the doubts surrounding the future of head coach Frank Vogel.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com brings news that Vogel might have his back against the wall with regard to his employment:
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Vogel, despite a 56-win season that secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, is "coaching for his job" in the wake of a prolonged slide that has stretched into its third month.
After Indiana's 101-85 triumph over Atlanta in Game 2 of the teams' first-round playoff series, sources told ESPN.com that coming back to win the series against the Hawks would not automatically ensure Vogel's safety. After a 40-11 start, the Pacers went just 16-15 the rest of the way before a humbling loss in the series opener to the eighth-seeded Hawks.
Stein went on to say that "frustration throughout the organization has been mounting" since a nose dive around the All-Star break. Rumors that Vogel could be on the proverbial hot seat aren't impossible to believe considering Indy's collapse down the stretch of the regular season, but it isn't often a No. 1 seed has this type of potential distraction. In addition to drama with its coach, Indiana also reportedly endured a practice court scuffle between Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner last Friday, and the Game 1 disaster in their own building certainly couldn't have helped Vogel's job security. Still, the Pacers did turn on the jets a bit on Tuesday, and if they can continue with that level of play, the Pacers head man could avoid the fates that have befallen both Knicks head coach Mike Woodson and Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin in recent days.