As an NBA coach, Scott Skiles has always had a definitive modus operandi. In his three previous jobs, Skiles has dramatically improved his team’s defense, in some cases taking it from near the bottom of the league to near the top. That improvement helps the team become an absolute pain in the neck to play and make a quantum leap from the lottery to the playoffs. Then at some point, Skiles and his hypercompetitive nature become a bit overbearing for some players,
It has been three seasons since the Orlando Magic have had to change their franchise’s future and goals by trading Dwight Howard. Three seasons since GM Rob Hennigan was installed and broke everything down, sold off everything that was not bolted down and committed to a long rebuilding process centered on the draft and sustainability. And so here the Magic sit, three years after that fateful decision. And with what? The Magic professed that 2015 would be the season the team showed
Rebuilding franchises conjure up a wide spectrum of emotions. They prompt hope for a brighter future, frustration that wins will likely be hard to come by in the immediate future and, sometimes, disappointment that tangible progress isn’t being seen quite quickly enough for increasingly rabid fan bases — specially in this instant gratfication digital era. Orlando is an interesting case study. The Magic have what seems like a decent enough young core in shooting guard Victor Oladipo, double-double machine Nikola Vucevic,
Chris Paul opened up a can of worms after a loss on Thursday against the Cleveland Cavaliers when he decided to explain in detail why he had an issue with referee Lauren Holtkamp, a new full-time female referee in the NBA this season. Holtkamp is the only other full-time female referee in the league alongside Violet Palmer, so she’s in a pretty exclusive group. Any time you address someone like that publicly, especially in a negative light, it’s going to cause some
Just 52 games into the NBA season — not yet at the All-Star break, and the Orlando Magic have unloaded a sizable amount of talent. That’s coaching talent. Thursday’s breaking news was that of Magic CEO Alex Martins and GM Rob Hennigan had decided to cut ties with head coach Jacque Vaughn and assistants Wes Unseld Jr., Brett Gunning and Zack Guthrie. Assistant coach James Borrego will take over as interim head coach. [Read more…]
We all know what the Philadelphia 76ers are doing. Call it whatever you want – tanking, rebuilding, deconstructing, hoarding – the 76ers are openly, unabashedly and intentionally sinking to the bottom of the NBA, because GM Sam Hinkie has convinced ownership that is the fastest way to get back to the top. Hinkie has constructed a roster that is inherently non-competitive. The Sixers have the fewest first-round picks and the most undrafted free agents of any team. Their highest-paid player makes $6.6
Despite the Orlando Magic becoming a better and deeper squad this offseason, a playoff push in the 2014-15 campaign still seems a step too far, even in the weaker Eastern Conference. GM Rob Hennigan has done a good job of moving on from Dwight Howard, creating a manageable payroll and rebuilding the Magic with young, exciting and athletic players. Orlando has 10 players on their rookie contracts, several of whom have already established themselves as legitimate NBA players. For now, those players
Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who doesn’t think the Indiana Pacers are coming apart at the seams. “Everybody goes through this,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said last week after San Antonio manhandled Indiana, 103-77, on the Pacers’ home court. “I’m not worried about them. They’ll still make it to the Eastern Conference finals and they’ll still play Miami.” Parker is somewhat right. From time to time, every championship contender has a stretch during a season where they look ordinary.