The Magic Should Be Pumped That Scott Skiles Quit
When Scott Skiles dumped the Orlando Magic, the entire Magic organization was in shock. They had just hired Skiles last year and it was believed that Skiles was in Orlando long term to help develop the young team. Instead, he resigned last week, calling the Magic a bad fit for him.
Naturally, possible reasons for Skiles abrupt departure leaked out. According to Justin Termine, Skiles wanted to resign all the way back in January before changing his mind. According to Josh Robbins, Skiles and GM Rob Hennigan disagreed over personnel. No matter the reason, Skiles was so desperate to get out of Orlando that he signed a two year non-compete contract, forbidding him from taking another head coaching position in the NBA during that time period.
Scott Skiles is a solid coach. For his career, he is 478-480, just two games under .500. But he has yet to make a conference final, much less make it to the NBA finals. In fact in his 14 years as a head coach in the NBA, he has only made the playoffs six times. Like Tom Thibideau, Scott Skiles is an authoritarian head coach. He hates rookies and he hates mistakes. His rotations change on a nightly basis and he can wear a player thin very easily. For example, with Skiles as a head coach, Tobias Harris has been traded twice. Scott Skiles wasn't the right coach for a young, athletic, up and coming team.
No, the right coach is the man they are about to hire in Frank Vogel. Vogel made the playoffs in five out of his six years as head coach of the Indiana Pacers. The only year he missed was when his season was sabotaged before it started, after the Pacers lost Paul George to injury during Olympic team tryouts. Vogel has shown an ability to connect with players at a personal level, as he was able to get more out of Lance Stephenson than any coach really should. Vogel has no aversion to rookies, noted as he leaned on Myles Turner heavily this past season. Vogel's teams are tough defensively and he can run any system that fits the players. Outside of Tom Thibideau, Frank Vogel was in my mind, the best coaching candidate out there this offseason. He was wrongly fired by the Pacers and he just may have inherited a better team.
The Magic needed a leader that's going to push them, but not cause them to crumble. The Magic needed a voice that has a history of successfully molding together a young team and pushing them into the playoffs. The Magic needed a coach that has been to two conference finals and pushed LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh to the absolute brink in Game 7.
Frank Vogel needed a Magic team that would give him a chance to get right back to the playoffs. Frank Vogel needed a Magic team to show Larry Bird that he made a massive mistake not retaining him and an even larger mistake telling the media how Vogel begged for his job. Frank Vogel needed a Magic team that will let him run the squad his way.
The Magic needed Frank Vogel and Frank Vogel needed the Magic. This is a partnership that's going to work because it fits too well not to. And hey who knows, maybe with the addition of Frank Vogel, Dwight Howard comes home to Orlando. If anyone can integrate Howard with the team, it's Vogel.
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