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April 24, 2014 Updates

Whether Vogel would still be "safe" if the Pacers lose this series to the Hawks or fail to at least get back to the conference finals remains to be seen. Sources told ESPN.com this week that coming back to win this first-round series -- with Game 3 and 4 looming in Atlanta -- would not automatically ensure Vogel's return next season. ESPN.com

After taking a 40-12 record into All-Star Weekend -- which put Vogel in charge of the Eastern Conference All-Stars -- Indiana posted a mediocre 16-14 mark after the break. The Pacers then opened the playoffs with a humbling home loss to the Hawks after saying for days that they were looking forward to the postseason as a chance to wipe the slate clean. The decision on whether to retain Vogel at season's end ultimately rests with Bird, but sources insist that frustration throughout the organization has been mounting thanks to a nose dive that began in February with a loss in Orlando just before the All-Star break and has shown few signs of abating. ESPN.com

One league executive said the problems that have arisen—the public ones, remember, not the behind-the-scenes ones—with Stephenson will cut deep into his value on the free-agent market, and that a deal worth $7 million-$8 million per year is more likely to be Stephenson’s range now. “You hear things, for sure,” one general manager told Sporting News this week. “Stephenson is a guy who has talent, but if you have a young team and you’re building up a culture, you have to consider that before you pursue a guy who might affect your locker room negatively. You have to do your due diligence. But that sort of thing is going to affect the market for him, for sure. If a guy has issues, you better know about them and you think twice about going after him.” Sporting News

April 23, 2014 Updates

Yahoo Sports first reported that there was "a practice-floor fistfight" involving Turner and Stephenson last Friday. A person familiar with the situation described the story to The Star as "pretty accurate." However on Wednesday, Turner and Stephenson, as well as other Pacers, downplayed the incident as a commonplace tangling up that happens during practices. "We're competitive players," Stephenson said. "We got (into) a little scuffle but it was just practice related. No blows, just playing hard and getting ready for the playoffs. I mean, I've got no problem with him." USA Today Sports

Turner also denied that the fracas escalated to fists. "Honestly, the person who wrote the article asked me if the fight happened, I told him 'No, it wasn't (a fight),' and he just went on and wrote that there were punches thrown and all this and it wasn't. It was just a tangle up and that was it," Turner told The Indianapolis Star while on his way to catch the team plane to Atlanta. "That was it and I don't think there's anything really to speak on in regards to being that big a deal. But the whole thing of everybody reading that punches got thrown and all this nonsense occurred, that never happened. Not one punch (was) thrown. Lance and I are pretty big guys. I think you'd see a sign of a punch thrown, ya know?" USA Today Sports

Stephenson, 23, makes no apologies for his a knack for getting under players' skin with his brashness. "I'm definitely a trash-talker coming from New York, we talk trash all the time," Stephenson said. "That was built in me when I was young. "I just try to get our confidence built up. Sometimes I go, 'Hey let's go,' I get into other guys and it's just ... being competitive and getting each other ready for the playoffs and the physical part of the game, so I just try to be that guy to do that sometimes." USA Today Sports

"It grew us closer. Lance and Evan are close now. It's just, throughout the year, there have been plenty of times where I've wanted to take guys out. We're brothers. I'm sure anyone who has siblings has had moments where other siblings got on their nerves and caused them to tip over. Part of the game, part of the system, nothing serious." Indianapolis Star

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN PACERS HISTORY
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Three of the top four players are from the team's ABA era. All but the dead-eye shooter at No. 1.

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