The Indiana Pacers' season came to an end on Sunday after an enthralling first-round playoff series with the Toronto Raptors saw them go down in seven games.
The manner of their elimination from the postseason will leave a sour taste in the mouths of the entire Pacers organisation and its fans after a number of missed opportunities, particularly in game five when they squandered a 17-point lead on the road.
Paul George had a terrific series and almost willed the Pacers to an unexpected series win over the second-seeded Raptors and players like rookie Myles Turner came to the fore and gained some valuable experience that will stand him and the franchise in good stead moving forwards.
One man who may not be moving forwards with the Pacers, however, is head coach Frank Vogel, whose future in Indianapolis is now in question.
Vogel's contract with the Pacers will expire this summer and the chances of him receiving an extension in Indiana appear to be slim.
Speaking after the team's playoff exit, president Larry Bird poured more cold water over the potential of Vogel staying on and receiving a new contract, saying he hasn't decided whether he wants to bring him back or not.
"I don't know what's going to happen," Bird told The Indianapolis Star regarding Vogel's future.
One thing Bird did confirm, though, was that a decision on the head coach may not be made anytime soon, as he has to consult with Pacers owner Herb Simon, but the signs for Vogel appear ominous.
“He’s [Herb Simon] busy, so it could be a week or it could be tomorrow,” Bird said. “What I don’t want to do is leave Frank hanging — there’s other jobs out there he could get.”
Indiana struggled to put the ball in the basket for much of their game seven loss in Toronto and aside from George, George Hill, and Monta Ellis, they lacked any real scoring option on the floor, leading to a total of just 84 points in an elimination game.
The team's offence is a growing concern for Bird and he made his feelings perfectly clear on the matter.
“I thought we were going to win that game,” he said of the loss to the Raptors. “If you’d told me we’d score 84 points … You can’t go very far in the playoffs if you don’t score. When I tell people this, it’s not because I think I know it all — it’s because I experienced it as a player.
“We need to score more points. If Frank comes back, what can we do to get better offence? It’s on all of us.
“Frank’s a great guy. He’s going to be fine no matter what happens. If he’s back, he’ll be fine here. If he’s not, he’s not. We’ll see.”
Vogel has been the coach of the Pacers since 2011 and has an overall record of 250-181 and a postseason record of 31-30.
Despite leading the team to the playoffs, it appears the Pacers front office have higher hopes for the organisation and Vogel could pay the price this summer.