In three-and-a-half seasons with the Pacers, O’Brien compiled a 121-169 record, didn’t notch a winning season, and failed to sniff the playoffs.
In part the lack of success is a reflection of a Pacers rebuilding movement, but the concerns go far deeper than the 17-27 record.
The franchise’s presumed cornerstones, 27-year-old forward Danny Granger and 7-foot-2, and third-year centre Roy Hibbert have both regressed this season. As a result, so has the team.
Indiana has lost seven of its last eight games, and desperately needed to make a change.
Just two games out of a playoff spot in the very shallow Eastern Conference, there’s still enough time for Vogel to reverse the team’s fortunes. Especially considering the pieces in place: an emerging young point guard in Darren Collison, and matchup nightmares on the wings in Granger and Mike Dunleavy, Jr.
Throw in the formidable defensive system that O’Brien installed, and the team has the potential to be dangerous – and soon.
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