23 May 2007

Orlando Sentinel: Brian Hill Out as Head Coach

Contradicting the post I made yesterday, in which I wrote based on word-of-mouth that Brian Hill might return as the Magic's coach next season, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reported this afternoon that Hill has been fired. Here's the lead from that story:

Brian Hill will not return as head coach of the Orlando Magic the Orlando Sentinel learned this afternoon. The club is soon expected to announce that he will be offered a position with the organization.
I'm sure Hill will accept the other position, which will likely only include ceremonial duties like occasionally showing up at practice and posing in the team photo. I think the other job offer is the Magic's way of avoiding any public outcry. "We didn't put him out on his ass," they can say. "We gave him another job!"

Not that anyone's going to complain about this loss. I don't think it's a wise move, at least not at this point, because this team is composed of young players who need consistency. That said, Brian Hill's grind-it-out offensive philosophy is not greatly suited to this team, which would probably benefit from playing at a faster pace. I wouldn't call this move a surefire way to improve the Magic, but I don't think the team will regress. Young players don't typically get worse. If nothing else, the Magic broke even here.

Otis Smith is going to have a lot of explaining to do if this team doesn't show significant improvement next season. He's already fired the coach and will have to make some tough decisions regarding free agents in the offseason. The firing of Hill marks, at least in my mind, the official beginning of the Otis Smith Era. If the team fails, it's on him.

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