Pacers’ Vogel: Heat flopped way to top
Miami, FL, United States (AHN Sports) – Indiana pacers coach Frank Vogel said Friday the Miami Heat are the biggest flopping team in the NBA, adding spice to the intriguing second-round series between the two Eastern Conference powers.
Vogel, who guided the Pacers to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2005, did not mince words in accusing Heat players of flopping too much.
“Every drive to the basket, they have guys not making a play on the ball, but sliding in front of drivers,” Vogel told ESPN Friday. “Oftentimes, they’re falling down even before contact is even being made. It’ll be interesting to see how the series is officiated.”
The 38-year-old Vogel added players like Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem love to take charge and even fall even before contact, forcing officials to call questionable offensive fouls.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra fired back at the Pacers, claiming that taking charge is part of their defensive philosophy as a defensive team.
“We could care less,” Spoelstra said of Vogel’s assertions, according to ESPN Friday. “We’re a physical team and we’re focused on what’s ahead of us. Part of our defensive philosophy is putting our bodies in front of offensive players. That’s what we’ve been doing for years and years.”
LeBron James, who reportedly took his third regular-season MVP award, and Dwyane Wade played down Vogel’s flopping accusation while Chris Bosh took it as a motivation going into their series opener against the Pacers.
“We don’t get caught up in that, honestly,” James told ESPN Friday. “We’ve been thrown under the bus. So we’ve heard everything. There’s nothing that you can say toa our team that can get us extra motivated. We don’t really care.”
The Heat-Pacers series will kick off Sunday, 3.30 p.m ET, at American Airlines Arena.