- Neil Paine
Wondering how the 49-win Indiana Pacers have somehow managed to force a Game 7 against the mighty Miami Heat? Indiana coach Frank Vogel's name might not be high on your list of reasons, given his well-publicized strategic mistakes at the end of Game 1 (benching Roy Hibbert might have led to LeBron James' game-winning layup) and in the third quarter of Game 5 (mismanaging George Hill's foul trouble contributed to a backbreaking Miami run), but it should be.
While Vogel's reputation as an in-game tactician might not be as strong as other coaches around the league, there's a reason he has finished in the top five in Coach of the Year voting in both of his full seasons at the Pacers' helm (and even garnered a third-place vote for his 38 games of work in 2011). In the hours of work put in during practice and pregame preparation, largely invisible to the press, few coaches manage to squeeze as much out of the talent they have on hand as Vogel.
Neil Paine writes that a large part of the Pacers' recent playoff success -- and the team's overall success over the last two seasons -- can be attributed to head coach Frank Vogel, who is among the NBA's best in terms of maximizing talent.