The Orlando Magic fired head coach Jacque Vaughn after a 15-37 start to the 2014-15 NBA season, per multiple reports.
The Orlando Magic have dismissed head coach Jacque Vaughn.
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Vaughn's dismissal comes on the heels of a 10-game losing streak which dropped Orlando to 15-37 this season, per a Feb. 5 press release on the Magic's official website. His top assistant coach, James Borrego, will be Orlando's interim head coach.
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that management informed the team of the decision at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins and Brian Schmitz say the Magic also fired Vaugh's assistants Wes Unseld, Jr. and Brett Gunning. The team also dismissed manager of advanced scouting Zach Guthrie.
According to the NBA.com press release, Vaughn concludes his two-and-a-half year stint with the Magic with a 58-158 (.269) record. In his first season, Orlando won 20 games while they won another 23 in his second year calling the shots for the team.
Management expected the Magic to vault up the standings after acquiring Channing Frye, Ben Gordon, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, but their 15-37 start is identical to their pace from a year ago. Orlando lost its 10th straight game, 110-103, to the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 4. It is the team's eighth 10-game losing skid. In addition, the Magic have lost 16 of their last 18 games and are just 5-17 at Amway Center this season, per NBA.com.
Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan thanked Vaughn for all he's done for the team:
"Jacque had been a trusted friend and colleague. We thank him immensely for his contributions and sacrifices in bringing our team to this point, and we greatly appreciate his unwavering commitment to our organization. We have tremendous respect for Jacque and certainly wish him the best as he embarks on the next phase of his career."
For his part, Vaughn released a statement thanking the Magic for the opportunity to be their head coach, per NBA.com:
"I would like to thank (Magic owner) Mr. (Rich) DeVos and family for the opportunity of representing the Orlando Magic as head coach, I am a stronger and wiser man and coach because of the opportunity. I look forward to seeing this group continue to grow. God bless, good luck. Jacque Vaughn...Proverbs 3:5-6."
The Magic had high expectations despite having the fourth-youngest roster in the league. According to the NBA.com press release, Hennigan foresaw the Magic playing "more meaningful games" in 2014-15, but that didn't happen under Vaughn's tenure. Vaughn recently went with a starting lineup which included two rookies (Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton) and a second-year player (Victor Oladipo). He cited his team's shortcomings on its inexperience.
Hennigan's referred to the Magic's drop-off in several offensive and defensive categories as a gauge in firing Vaugh, per NBA.com. In terms of defense, the Magic are 24th in points allowed, 26th in point differential, 29th in field-goal percentage allowed, 24th in three-point field-goal percentage allowed and 26th in defensive efficiency.
Orlando's defensive struggles have been evident in its last 14 games when it has surrendered at least 100 points each time. During that stretch, the Magic allowed 127 points to the Oklahoma City Thunder and 128 points to the Detroit Pistons, per NBA.com.
In terms of offense, Frye hasn't been of much help to the team's cause. Oladipo and Payton have had their moments, but they also have had their struggles, as are expected of young players. The Magic are 24th in offense 25th in offensive efficiency and 23rd in fastbreak points, per NBA.com.
As for Vaughn's replacement, Wojnarowski says the Magic are seriously considering former Orlando point guard and Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks head coach Scott Skiles. The Magic could potentially hire Skiles during next week's All-Star break or after the 2014-15 NBA season.
Wojnarowski adds Orlando could also consider former Sacramento Kings mentor Mike Malone or former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny del Negro.
The Magic exercised Vaughn's fourth-year option last summer. This guarantees his salary for the 2014-15 NBA season. Wojnarowski's sources tell him the team owes Vaughn $2.2 million for next season.
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