- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Pacers coach Frank Vogel spent most of Thursday under heavy fire from critics for his decisions in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
But Vogel also doled out some criticism of his own on Thursday.
And he pointed it directly at Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
"They had a more intelligent plan against Roy Hibbert than New York did and we've got to adjust to it," Vogel told reporters with the Pacers in Miami. "It was effective [Wednesday night] and we've got to adjust to it."
It's unclear if Vogel meant it as a direct criticism of Woodson, but it's hard to misinterpret his words: he was ripping the Knicks' offensive scheme against Hibbert.
The Knicks allowed Hibbert to camp out in the paint on defense in their second-round series. In doing so, Hibbert made life difficult for the Knicks at the rim. He had 19 blocks in six games and was able to help the Pacers control the boards (Indiana outrebounded New York by 10.4 rebounds per game).
Woodson at times drew Hibbert from the paint by placing shooters such as Chris Copeland on the floor, but he did not use that strategy often.
The Heat, on the other hand, forced Hibbert to leave the paint at times in Game 1. That strategy helped Miami outscore Indiana, 60-48, in the paint and coral 16 offensive rebounds.
Miami was also able to dump the ball off to open front court players. Chris "Birdman" Andersen had 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting -- all from close range.
Vogel, in fact, decided to leave Hibbert on the bench on the Heat's final play because he feared Hibbert would not be able to leave the paint to defend a Chris Bosh jump shot.
Many questioned why Hibbert wasn't on the floor to defend the rim.
"I would say we would probably have him in next time," Vogel told reporters after Game 1.
Vogel wasn't the only observer to critique Woodson's coaching performance against the Pacers.
Woodson also took criticism for failing to play Copeland until the final two games of the series. Woodson also went with a bigger starting lineup in Game 4 of the series; the move backfired, as the Knicks lost by 11 and were crushed on the boards.
"I really haven't heard the criticism because I don't read it that much," Woodson said on Monday. "I'm my own biggest critic."
That might be true. But on Thursday, that title belonged to Vogel.
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