NBA Q&A: Jeff Van Gundy, Hubie Brown, Mike Fratello

Posted by Unknown on Friday, May 24, 2013 with No comments
Courtesy of Dave D'Alessandro

Q. So where did you come down on Pacers coach Frank Vogel’s decision to lift Roy Hibbert on those two need-stops in Game 1?

CZAR: "It was the right call. Not knowing what Miami would run, Hibbert’s man would just read it and screen and pop to the top of the circle to force a switch, so he’d have to guard a small. (Heat coach Erik) Spoelstra drew up a hell of a play, and spaced the floor beautifully to make it a great catch-and-go for LeBron (James). And Paul George was in a bad body position."

JVG: "People overlooked David West on the ball, giving no support to keep it out of LeBron’s hands; that George was caught off-guard; and that Sam Young was ... I don’t even know what he was doing. So Frank is taking the heat for what may be a mistake on his part, but others are being left off the hook."

HUBIE: "I don’t second-guess it. But if you say ‘Put Hibbert on the inbounds passer,’ I can buy that. That’s a fair second-guess. A 7-2 guy would make that pass much more difficult for (Shane) Battier."

Q. The Pacers had 20 turnovers, George Hill looks groggy, yet they lost by one. If you’re Vogel, is it a hard sell at shootaround (today)? What do you say to keep the faith, when you just lost control of the series?

JVG: "Some idiot — that’s me — said they have no chance before Game 1. But when you play D like that, and Paul George holds his own against LeBron, they have a shot. Sure, it may be minimal. And for a defensive team to lose like that, it stings. But if you’re the coach and you think you screwed up, 
start by saying so. Then point out what you can do better."

CZAR: "It’s tough. An outsider would say, ‘Well, Paul George made a Hail Mary just to get the game to overtime, so they should have lost earlier.’ But you can always find positives; they were one stop away. You just clean up what you did wrong and play the same defense."

HUBIE: "You remind them, ‘We proved that we can play with this team — in our two (regular season) wins against them, plus Game 1, we held them to 12 under their average. Now, what we can improve on is passing it into the post guys who are fronted,’ because they let Miami sit in their laps. And Lance Stephenson and Hill cannot go 4-for-19 again."

Q. The difference out West is the Spurs’ Tiago Splitter preventing the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph from getting leverage around the rim, but will that series end up as a referendum on Rudy Gay?

HUBIE: "In both games, the Spurs were able to rough (Randolph) up without the call. You can see what’s happening to Zach — he’s exasperated. And people can talk all they want about not needing Gay, but this is the third round, baby: You must have guys who make the pressure shots with 3-2-1 on the damn clock."

JVG: "It’s the Spurs’ length, but they are also ignoring the wing shooters, Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen. The floor is really congested right now. What will they do to get more balance: They found more of it in the second half with (Quincy) Pondexter and (Jerryd) Bayless. As for Gay, he’s a talented offensive player, but often an inefficient one."

CZAR: "In the last series, Zach did damage on three guys — he seemed to foul out two guys every game and get his team in the bonus early. But San Antonio has been magnificent with its post defense — fronting, traps, all of it. Didn’t San Antonio win two games against OKC and then lose four in a row last year? I think it’s still a series."

Q. So what else has stood out to you in this postseason that you haven’t heard as a talking point in the pregame shows?

HUBIE: "We have (eight) coaching vacancies. Think about that: You’re not even safe if you’ve won 50 games, if you’re not in the round that management expects. Perfect example: You hear P.J. (Carlesimo) could only save his job if he got to the Conference Finals. C’mon, you haven’t won a round in years, and now you’re talking about the third round? To me, it’s a bad situation when one-third of your coaches are unemployed every year."

CZAR: "Hubie said coaches, right? Good, I agree with him. Not only do we have eight jobs open, many others (Atlanta, Minnesota, Toronto) could be question marks. It’s kind of amazing. And troubling."

JVG: "I was all for replay, but now I’m almost against it. Pace, rhythm, flow — it’s destroyed by excessive timeouts. When you’re coaching you don’t think about how long these games take. When you watch them, it takes forever. I bet Paul George wanted to call timeout on LeBron’s first dribble (Wednesday) night.