Pacers coach Frank Vogel told his players Tuesday to stop worrying and complaining about the officiating. The warning came too late to save forward Paul George, who later was fined $25,000 by the NBA after saying Monday night that the Heat’s 34-17 edge in free-throw attempts “maybe was just home cooking.”
Vogel told his players: “We can't control calls. We've got to worry about what we've got to control: our turnovers, our shot selection, our passing, our defense.”
Vogel said he wasn't disappointed in George's comments, but LeBron James noted late Monday night: “We only had five turnovers, seven steals and 20 points off their turnovers. That has nothing to do with the free-throw line.”
Asked if he disagreed with some calls in Game 4, Vogel said: “Can’t go there.” But Vogel, who was given a technical in the third quarter, said: “We weren’t disciplined with our fouling.”
Vogel said he regularly sends tapes to the league when he questions officiating calls but declined to say whether he did that after Game 4.
Vogel said he believes Lance Stephenson’s “sign of weakness” comment about James on Sunday “might have had an effect” on Stephenson in Game 4.
Vogel conceded that “maybe Lance tried to walk the walk a little too much and maybe put too much pressure on himself, didn't get going early, and then he got in foul trouble.”
Several Pacers players expressed disappointment with Stephenson’s comments. “We got to stay away from giving guys bulletin board material,” David West said.
George said: “Lance is young and that’s a learning lesson for him. We’ve just got to be smarter with situations.”
• Pacers center Roy Hibbert said he took only four shots in 22 scoreless, foul-plagued minutes because the game plan “wasn’t to utilize me as much.”
On Tuesday, Vogel said: “Look, Roy Hibbert's hurt the Miami Heat more in the pick-and-roll game and on the glass in previous years. That's where he's put up his biggest numbers while mixing in the post game. It's not like he's had success getting 20 to 30 post-ups a game.
“That's how we're trying to utilize him. They're doing a great job with their hands and deflecting those passes.”
• Teams with a 3-1 lead in a series are 214-8 in those series. “Any time you lose three in a row in the playoffs, it shakes your confidence some,” Vogel said.
• Vogel has yelled at Shane Battier and Norris Cole before they launched three-pointers in this series, though neither player said he heard it.
“He’s the man, he can do what he wants for his team,” Battier told Bleacher Report. “It makes them feel part of the game."
But Battier, who said Lawrence Frank and Vinny Del Negro also did that to him, added Vogel is “one of the guys who does not like when I call out what plays come in. I've been doing it my entire career. But some coaches it irritates. I don't think he likes me very much. When the play comes in, he waits until I turn away, and I stare right at him."
• The Heat is on the verge of becoming the first team to make four consecutive Finals appearances since Boston (1984-87). ... The Heat’s 11-2 record is its best-ever postseason record at this point. Miami was 10-3 after 13 games the past three years.