Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/11/12

The Pacers surprised some people with how easily they were able to handle the Magic in the first round, but a far more challenging task awaits them in the second. In the Miami Heat, Indiana is facing the team that many assume will be hoisting the NBA Finals trophy next month. If they are going to stand a chance, the Pacers may need a little help from the officials throughout the series. That’s why Indiana coach Frank Vogel is already trying to work them over before Game 1.

“(The Heat) are the biggest flopping team in the NBA,” Vogel said according to the Sun Sentinel. “It will be very interesting to see how the referees officiate this series and how much flopping they reward. Every time you drive to the basket, they’ve got guys not making a play on the ball, but sliding in front of drivers, often times they’re falling down before contact is even made. It’ll be very interesting to see how this series is officiated.”

Vogel knows his team isn’t as good as the Heat and can’t match their athleticism, so this is an obvious attempt to prime the officials in hopes that they keep a close eye on things and watch for acting. He’s not totally wrong, however. As we saw from King James’ performance early in the series against the Knicks, the Heat are not opposed to taking a dive or two if it means getting a call.

It may be just me, but it feels like we’ve had more complaining about flopping during this year’s playoffs than in years past — and we’re only one round deep. Either embellishing has become more popular across the league, or coaches have just felt the need to whine a lot more.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

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