Pacers head coach Frank Vogel was a guest on ESPN Radio in Indianapolis today and Scott Agness of Pacers.com transcribed much of the interview for us. Vogel hits on a number of topics, but specifically discussed the offseason developments at the top of the Eastern Conference, including those within his own team. Here are a few key points from Vogel:
- Vogel mentioned the Bulls and Nets as the two teams that have taken big steps forward this offseason; Chicago with the return of Derrick Rose and Brooklyn with their bevy of additions. Vogel lauded the bench additions of Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko in Brooklyn, and said he expects good things from Jason Kidd as an NBA coach.
- The Pacers' addition of Luis Scola will really help the team's bench, Vogel said, adding that Scola is one of smartest and most creative players in the league. Vogel said that Solomon Hill, drafted 23rd by Indiana in June, is "ready to contribute right away" and also mentioned C.J. Watson and Chris Copeland as useful additions to his squad.
- Of course, the piece most likely to elevate the Pacers to the next level is the return of Danny Granger, who missed all but five games last season with knee issues. On Granger, Vogel said, "It’s really exciting. Danny is on schedule, looks really good, he’s making progress each week and we’re hoping that we're going to be having a full-strength Danny Granger this year to add to this team that made a lot of noise last year."
- Roy Hibbert has concentrated on bulking up this summer, according to Vogel. Hibbert, who established himself as an elite physical presence in last season's playoffs, is adding bulk mainly in hopes of improving on the offensive end, Vogel said.