Vogel says Game 5 will be decisive
CHICAGO -- Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel believes his team isn't the only one facing elimination Tuesday, because Vogel said if the Pacers win Game 5, he believes they're going to eventually eliminate the Chicago Bulls.
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"We feel like if we win tonight, we'll win this series," Vogel told reporters after the Tuesday morning shootaround.
The Bulls lead the series 3-1, but the Pacers have been competitive throughout the series and have led in the fourth quarter of each game. Indiana won Game 4 on Saturday in Indianapolis 89-84.
"We've been in every game, could have won every game," Indiana's Danny Granger said recently. "It's all the confidence we need."
The Bulls entered the playoffs as the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA, but point guard Derrick Rose is battling a sprained left ankle. He said he'll be all right during Game 5.
Indiana was 37-45 during the regular season, but the Pacers played better under Vogel, who replaced Jim O'Brien on Jan. 30. Indiana was 20-18 under Vogel in the regular season, including 10-5 down the stretch to secure the final playoff spot.
"I want our guys understanding that we have a chance to win this series," Vogel said. "That was my message to our players. We have a real chance to win this series, but it starts with [Tuesday night]. This is not [a situation where people should say] 'Well, we got a game in Indy and that was a good playoff experience win for our young guys and now it's time for the Bulls to wrap up this series.' We believe we have a chance to win this series, and that's what my message to my players was."