Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hill's job never was in doubt

Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith said Sunday that Brian Hill was never in a make-the-playoffs-or-else jeopardy as far his keeping his head coaching job with the franchise.
Hill's future with the Magic seemed somewhat in jeopardy coming down the stretch as the Magic struggled, particularly against some of the NBA's worst teams. One disgruntled fan even started a Web site calling for Hill's firing.
But Smith said he never lost confidence in his coach and fully expects him to return next season. Hill has said all along he sees no reason why he won't honor the four-year contract that he signed two-season ago.
"He's our coach now and whether we were in the playoffs or not this season he's still going to be our coach next season," Smith said before Sunday's game. "It was never a make-the-playoffs type of thing with him."
Hill said he never had the feeling that his job was in jeopardy even though the Magic nearly became the first team in NBA history to miss the playoffs after starting the season 13-4.
"My goal all along was to help this team get back into postseason play," Hill said. "If we're in the postseason after not making it last season, then that's a step up for us. Now does that mean I'm happy with how this entire season has gone? No. But getting in the playoffs would be one of our goals accomplished."
No fear. While some in the Magic organization are hoping that Orlando can move up to the seventh seed and avoid a possible matchup against the Detroit Pistons, Smith said he would actually welcome such a first-round playoff matchup.
Smith said the goal of this playoff run should be entirely about getting playoff experience for Magic youngsters Dwight Howard, Darko Milicic, Jameer Nelson, Trevor Ariza and J.J. Redick.
Smith said he wouldn't mind playing Detroit even though Orlando was 0-4 this season against the Pistons as opposed to going 2-1 against the second-seeded Chicago Bulls.
"If you want your guys to get experience, don't you want it to be experience against the best?" Smith asked. "You remember what happened (Wednesday) with Dwight against Detroit? They practically beat him to death. You don't think those old, veteran players weren't sending him a message?
"To me, it really doesn't matter who we play because we're going against the same team every night. If the real Magic show up, we'll be just fine against any team. If we don't, we'll get beat."
Free throws. Hill was on the phone with NBA vice president Matt Winick Sunday to voice his displeasure with the Magic's hectic closing schedule. Orlando spent all of last week on the road, playing in Milwaukee, Detroit and Philadelphia. And Orlando closes the regular season by playing four games in five nights. Said Hill: "We talk to them this time of year before they start putting together next year's schedule. If you don't have a line of communication with them, they don't know what your concerns are." . . . Redick was back on the active list after missing Sunday's game with a bruised thigh muscle. The rookie shooting guard arrived at Amway Arena almost three hours before Sunday's game to test out his sore leg and pronounced himself ready to play. . . . Hill has been critical of Jameer Nelson's play at point guard at times this season, but he said Nelson is largely responsible for the Magic's improved offense of late. Said Hill: "He's a big reason why we're doing such a good job lately. He's making sure we stay organized. And if we don't have good numbers he's pulling the ball out and getting us into our offense."

5 Comments:

  • At 2:59 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    This column makes me sick to my stomach.


    Playoff positioning UPDATE:

    The Nets won tonight in NY. Our only hope to move into the 7th spot is winning out, and Washington losing in Indiana.

     
  • At 5:35 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I think that Otis Smith wants the players to focus on the playoffs, and not Brian Hill's job security, and that's why he said what he said, even though I don't agree with it.

    As OVERWADED pointed out, the Nets clinched a better playoff seed than the Magic.

    We'll see if the Magic learned anything from that 4th quarter fiasco against BOS and can put away a WAS team missing Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler. The Wizards looked absolutely horrible against the Bulls on SUN. I'm sure they'll play better against the Magic, but the Magic are the much better team and should win comfortably.

     
  • At 10:25 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    That article hasn't appeared on Sentinel's website yet, I bid intentionally, since it is going to be blasted by the fans. However, Mike is right about the purpose. They need to milk this cash cow of making to the play-offs the best they could. Alex Martins tried stupidly to connect it to the arena issue after the miserable entrance into the play-offs, which was not a smart idea. The public is still hot on firing Hill, and the ownership has to make an assessment of the situation in summer. They need public in two prongs: 1) Selling tickets; 2) More importantly, for the arena. They are hoping that Magic may not fall apart in the play-offs, and the arena would be approved soon. But that is a mirage. Politicians are bent on probing the public opinion, and Crotty's position for the next election is not as solid as it once was. Therefore, for the long run, the ownership has to be mindful of public support and, believe me, they are not that foolish when it comes to bottom-line.

     
  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I realize Otis is just saying what he is because "that’s what he’s supposed to say". However, if that's the case, I'd rather him just not put himself in a situation to have to comment about it anymore. He could defer any comment about Brian Hill and focus all attention on closing the season and the playoffs. I’m just tired of hearing the Magic back Hill. They don’t have to say anything bad about him, but they can talk about other topics, as playoff time is approaching, and that’s the biggest time of the season for these guys.

     
  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt... good dialogue between you and Whit Watson on the Watson blog. Whit's a classy individual, and I too, respect that.

     

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