03 May 2007

Orlando Sentinel: Brian Hill May Not Return Next Seasn

It wasn't too long ago that Magic GM Otis Smith guaranteed that Brian Hill would finish his contract, which runs for another two seasons, coaching the Magic. Now, the Orlando Sentinel reports, those circumstances have changed.

The Sentinel reports Magic President Bob Vander Weide as saying the following:

"People ask me if Brian Hill will be back as our coach. All I can say is that I have no answer for that right now. Sometimes there are no guarantees in life."
Apparently, Vander Weide's dissatisfaction with Hill has more to do with the team's disappointing finish. There is also a philosophical issue that comes into play. Vander Weide would like to see the Magic "run the ball more," according to the Sentinel, a strategy I suggested a little under a month ago. But I digress.

I think the philosophical argument is probably the best case for dumping Hill. Sure, I've defended him in the past, and I still think that Smith is more to blame for the Magic's woes than Hill is. However, being unable to muster a single win against an older, slower Detroit team in eight tries this season indicates that making adjustments is not Hill's strong suit. How can a team expect to win if its coaching staff doesn't effectively analyze opponents' strategies and then work to counteract them? Hrm.

I'm not going to come out and say that I think Hill should be fired, because that would be disingenuous of me. However, the Pistons series really caused me to reconsider my earlier defense of Hill, and now my mood towards him has shifted from 'supportive' to 'ambivalence.' It's become evident to me, and to Vander Weide as well, that Hill although may be a good coach, his regimented style is not the best fit for this young team. Time will tell.

The folks at FireBrianHill must be cheering, and I suppose it's nice to know that some Magic fans might get their way this season. It's a shame that it has to come at the expense of the franchise's most significant coach.

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