Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel was asked pre-game if Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson reminds him of anyone. Interesting old-school reply from Vogel:
“The coach of the Houston Rockets.”
Kevin McHale actually makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels. Like McHale had as a Boston Celtic, Jefferson has a multitude of moves, a full palate of ball fakes and is pretty much earth-bound, as far as playing below the basket. As Jefferson often jokes about himself, he plays an “old man’s game.”
Also McHale tutored Jefferson some when Jefferson played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
I asked a follow-up question of Vogel about how confounding Jefferson’s ball fakes are; how, no matter how often a defender has seen them, he still falls for them.
Vogel said as a coach you are constantly asking your players to contest shots. Suddenly against Jefferson, that’s more a liability than a plan.
“Now you’re telling them you don’t want them leaving their feet,” Vogel said. “It’s hard to change that in one day.”