With a 116-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night, the Indiana Pacers clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference through February 4 (of eligible teams), meaning Pacers’ head coach Frank Vogel will coach the Eastern Conference in the 2014 All-Star Game.
The Pacers are an NBA-best 30-7.
The Miami Heat, who defeated the Pacers in seven games to win the Eastern Conference Championship last season, are 27-10, but Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra coached the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the game last year, so even if the Heat surpass the Pacers, he is not eligible to be the head coach of the team this season.
Only two other teams in the Eastern Conference even have a winning record. Dwane Casey’s Toronto Raptors are 19-17 and Mike Budenholzer’s Atlanta Hawks are 20-18. Every other team in the east has a losing record, meaning if the playoffs started today, half of the bracket in the east would be filled by teams with losing records (Nine teams in the Western Conference have a winning record).
Vogel was an assistant in Indiana from 2007-2011. He took over halfway through the 2010-11 season after the Pacers fired Jim O’Brien. Vogel is 219-139 with the Pacers and 18-17 in the playoffs.