"A lot of times, we don't take the fight to [the opponent]," Bird told the newspaper. "A lot of times we sit back and wait and see how it goes. And that was the case even when we were winning a lot of games early in the season. We've got to be mentally prepared to really go after the teams we're playing against. We can't have the mindset it's just another game; it's a very important game. All of them are.
"I'm sort of going to Frank's side because he's had so much success by staying positive. We do have to stay the course. But I also think he's got to start going after guys when they're not doing what they're supposed to do. And stay on them, whether you've got to take them out of the game when they're not doing what they're supposed to do, or limit their minutes. I will say, he hasn't done that enough."
During the last week of the regular season, though, Bird told local ABC affiliate WRTV-6 that "I back Frank 100 percent."
Vogel received a two-year contract extension during the 2012-13 campaign that has him under contract through next season. Yet it should be noted that Vogel received the extension while Bird was away from the Pacers on a one-year sabbatical.
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reports that sources with knowledge of the Pacers' locker room dynamic have been insisting for months that Indiana would miss the presence of assistant coach Brian Shaw, who left the club last summer to become the Denver Nuggets' head man.
Broussard reports that, with Vogel known for being "completely positive" in his approach to dealing with players, Shaw often played the role of "bad cop" and helped keep the Pacers' potentially volatile locker room from imploding. Shaw's absence didn't appear to be an issue early this season, but some insiders think it has been felt during the Pacers' splintering over the past few months.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.