Found May 19, 2013 on
Fox Sports Florida:
MIAMI You could say the Miami Heat are looking for bulletin-board material. But if it were tacked up what Frank Vogel really said, it wouldnt be very exciting.
Still, two Heat stars believe Vogel, the Indiana Pacers coach, has dissed them heading into the Eastern Conference finals, which begin Wednesday in Miami.
There is precedent for Vogel taking a shot at the Heat. Before the teams met in what turned out to be very chippy East semifinal last year, he called them floppers.
Its better for us, Miami center Chris Bosh said Sunday about what Vogel apparently now has said, claiming they're firing up the Heat more than last years remarks by Vogel. Its always good when you get some kind of motivation from the other side.
So what in the heck did Vogel say?
Its not about getting back at Miami, Vogel said Saturday after the Pacers eliminated New York about getting another shot at the Heat following last years 4-2 loss. When youre in the Final Four, youre competing for a championship. And theyre just the next team thats in our way, and thats how were approaching it.
That doesnt sound too bad. But Vogels comments took on a life of their own after Miamis practice Sunday.
It started when a reporter said to Heat forward LeBron James that Vogel was saying last night that you guys are just another team.
Were not just another team, James said. I dont understand what hes saying. But were not just another team. Its not true.
James said his ears absolutely perked up when he had heard Vogels comments, which came at a podium with the coach flanked by his two young daughters.
He said were just another team in their way, James said. Were not just another team. Were a great team. Were very confident. Well be ready for them. If were just another team, you really dont prepare for just another team. Were not just another team. You got to be prepared for us.
How James interpreted Vogels comments was similar to how his Bosh did. He also said his ears perked up when he heard what Vogel said.
Of course, Bosh said. Theres going to be motivation. Just another team? Were a championship-caliber team. Were trying to go for another (championship). Were looking for anything.. Were looking for any kind of gas to give ourselves some energy If they say some things that are going to get you juiced up, then thats good to go.
As if the bad blood that has existed between the teams isnt already enough.
Last years series featured Vogel being fined 15,000 for his flopping remark. Game 3 saw Pacers guard Lance Stephenson give James a choke sign when he missed a free throw. Heat forward Juwan Howard then angrily approached Stephenson before Game 4.
Game 5 is when matters really got out of control. There were three flagrant fouls. One led to Heat forward Udonis Haslem being suspended a game for taking out Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough. Another resulted in then-Miami center Dexter Pittman getting a three-game ban for a vicious hit on Stephenson.
They pride themselves on being a physical team and sometimes teams try to use that so they can get in your head as well, said Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who was the victim of a flagrant foul by Hansbrough in last years Game 5 that led to retaliation by Haslem. I thought we did a good job (last year) of continuing to play. We had a goal in mind and it was for no one to get in our way, and if we react to something that they did, then they win Obviously, we lost (Haslem) for game for a hit on Hansbrough. But I thought there were a lot of tough, hard hits in that series.
So will that continue? Wade wouldnt be surprised, saying, Its going to be a physical series.
After all, the Pacers feature rugged center Roy Hibbert and power forward David West. They outrebounded the Heat by an average of 11.0 per game while winning two of three regular-season meetings.
Were ready for whatever, James said of if he anticipates anything similar to last years contentious series against the Pacers. I dont know how theyre going to play, what their tactics are. I believe its going to be kind of like the last series, try to put me on the floor, maybe be physical with me. Maybe. I dont know. Every team kind of does the same thing. They kind of read what everyone else talks about, that you have to beat up the Heat to beat them and every team has tried to do that.
As far as reading Vogels comments about the Heat, they seem pretty innocuous. Then again, why spoil some early trash talking in the series?
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson.
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