The one thing you guys on the "easier schedule" argument will never answer me is how then did we beat the Hawks & the Bucks? You do realize that when O'Brien was our coach we had lost several games in a row to both teams and in fact would lose to the Hawks quit frequently by double digits. Yet since Vogel has taken over we have winning records vs. both of them.
No I'm sorry but we were the weaker schedule prior to O'Brien being fired. In other words when teams looked at the calendar saw our names on it and marked it off as an easy game.
When O'Brien was fired he was 10 games below .500 in fact his tenure in Indiana was below .500% Vogel was not the beneficiary of any type of magic trick or schedule fluke, he changed the entire structure of the team.
From day one he said Danny Granger was going to take better shots, he said we were going to play a smash mouth style of game. In other words were going to take everything that Jim O'Brien did as a coach and throw it out the window and guess what, it worked.
Instead of Roy Hibbert playing 20 min a game in the high post he started running a double low post offense. Instead of James Posey getting the most min. of any of our power forwards he deactivated him & played him one time the rest of the year. Instead of a passing motion offense he put the ball back in our point guards hands & Darren Collison started to play much better.
Why did the players give up on Jim O'Brien? Many coach's are hated by their players as you have said, but they don't as a group collectively give up very often so why now? The answer is simple and not complex at all. You can get by with being a disciplinarian and even somewhat of miserable person if you are a winner, but when your system doesn't win & you can't or won't adapt to any other system then the players you have are going to lose faith in you.
I'll accept a lot of stuff about O’Brien’s time here but I won't EVER accept people saying the team only played better because of an easier schedule and even though you also threw in the caveat that the team had given up on O'Brien I won't accept that either because it implies that the team would have had a winning record the rest of the season under Jim & that was just never going to happen.