by Scott Agness – Follow Scott
Larry Brown, Rick Carlisle, Larry Bird. Those are three of the names now below Pacers coach Frank Vogel’s on one meaningful list.
Vogel is not yet five seasons on the job, but he’s already jumped those memorable names in the history books to now have the most wins in franchise NBA history.
The team’s 93-86 victory Friday night of the Cleveland Cavaliers, sans LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, was win No. 191 — one more than Larry Brown.
“It means a lot,” Vogel said days leading up win 191. “Just to be mentioned in the company of those coaches is very humbling. But I feel like that, right now, is really the furthest thing from my mind. Our focus is just on getting this year’s team into the playoffs.”
Vogel (and his staff) have done a terrific job this season under difficult circumstances. The team’s star, Paul George, suffered a compound fracture in the offseason and has not played a game this year. The Pacers have had players (10) miss more combined games (182) than any other team in the Association. In turn, they’ve used 12 different starting lineups and until February, struggled to find consistency.
Finally, in February, everyone but George returned and they won seven of nine games — good enough to put them in the playoffs as the 8-seed.