Pacers hold postseason press conference - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Pacers hold postseason press conference

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INDIANAPOLIS - Larry Bird and Frank Vogel are wrapping up the Pacers season in a press conference Monday morning.

The Pacers' season ended Saturday night with a 117-92 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Indiana finished the regular season with the Eastern Conference's best record, but again couldn't get past Miami in the playoffs.

"I like the attitude of our guys, they're great to be around. As far as the bench, obviously, Frank and I will sit down and talk about it," Bird said. "I think they're good players. I still believe in them. Some of them didn't play as well down the stretch as we like."

"I think there's ways to improve your roster that we'll look at in the offseason, but I think its group as it is constructed still has room to grow," Vogel said. "Everybody has to come back better than they left this year and everybody on the team has to have that mindset."

One big question mark for the offseason is if guard Lance Stephenson will return. He is a free agent this summer.

"I'd like to see him back, clearly, but he's a free agent, so it's going to be up to him, what the rest of the offers look like, but I'm hoping he's back," Vogel said.

"He's a free agent. He can do whatever he wants to do, but we'll talk about it the next week or two, our game plan and what we're going to do about it," Bird said. "When it comes down to it, it's up to him, whether he wants to be here or not.

"Always want him back. You don't let a talent like that walk away if you can help it."

Stephenson averaged 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds this year, his fourth in the NBA, all with the Pacers. But he proved to be controversial in the postseason, making headlines for trash talking LeBron James in Indiana's Game 4 loss, then blowing in the Heat star's ear during a Game 5 win.
 
The other question was the status of Vogel as head coach, but he said his appearance at the press conference answered that.

"There was never a doubt," Bird said. "His job was never in jeopardy."
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