Perhaps Frank Vogel's early success with the Indiana Pacers should be used as a case study.
Vogel replaced the older, gruffer Jim O'Brien at midseason last year. He took a team that was 17-27 and struggling with confidence, infused it with positive energy and a new approach, and led it to a 20-18 finish and a playoff berth.
Team president Larry Bird gave Vogel the full-time gig in the summer, gave him more tools and the Pacers took off. Indiana finished this season with a 42-24 record and the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Vogel, just 38, finished third in the coach of the year voting this week. He has quickly found that delicate balance between being liked and being respected by his players. They sing his praises as emphatically as they voiced contempt for O'Brien.
''He came in after O.B. (O'Brien) and kind of changed the mentality, kind of gave everybody their confidence back and we started building from there,'' said Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough, a frequent...