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To play smaller, the Pacers added Monta Ellis, C.J. Miles and Chase Budinger, who was a player Bird had long coveted, per several league sources. Turns out Budinger can’t really play anymore after a bunch of knee surgeries everyone knew about. Ellis was coming off knee surgery and never found his comfort zone on offense in his first year as a Pacer. He remains laughably bad on defense; Burke and Vogel deserve a ton of credit for the Pacers finishing third in points allowed per possession while giving heavy minutes to Ellis, Miles and a rookie big man, Myles Turner, learning NBA defense as a teenager.
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Candace Buckner: Frank Vogel statement: “I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the Simon family, Larry Bird and the entire Indiana Pacers organization for giving me the opportunity to serve as the head coach of this team for the past six seasons. This is one of the top-flight organizations in the National Basketball Association and I truly enjoyed every minute I spent as the leader of this group of men. During my time with the Pacers, we made a lot of positive memories and none of that would have been possible without the support of Larry, the front office and all of the players I had the opportunity to coach. We consistently battled through thick and thin, and that is something that I am very proud of. Lastly, I want to give a huge thanks to Pacers fans in Indiana and across the country. You all have treated my family and me with kindness and class throughout our time here and I can’t thank you enough for that. My family and I consider Indianapolis home and this community will always hold a special place in our hearts.”
Storyline: Frank Vogel Fired