Nov 14, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward C.J. Miles (0) steals the ball from Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) in the second half at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 88-69. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Vogel Falls to Former Team With Magic

Imagine it’s 2011 again. At 37 years old, Frank Vogel is the youngest coach in the NBA. The Indiana Pacers had him set up to be their interim head coach. Vogel would lead the Pacers for six seasons to come, and become the coach to hold the most wins in Indiana Pacers NBA franchise history.

Fast forward to pre-2016 season, the Orlando Magic were ecstatic to have Vogel join their team. He comes in not only as a fresh face, but from building some of the best defenses in the country in Indiana. But now it’s the middle of November, and that enthusiasm is getting harder and harder to keep. The Magic traveled to Indiana to face Vogel’s former team, a must win for him. But it just couldn’t be pulled off. There was a lot of hype after their win against Oklahoma City on Sunday on the road, but it was short lived.

In The Beginning…

Several Pacers came over to pay their respects to their former coach. But once the playing started, there was no holding back for Indiana. Combining athleticism and strength, the Magic line-up was looking competitive. Point guard Elfrid Payton, shooting guard Evan Fournier, small forward Aaron Gordon, power forward Serge Ibaka, and center Nikola Vucevic were the starters. The teams went back and forth, answering each others points until half time when Indiana got their first solid lead of four points. Time was beginning to run out for the Magic. Fournier knew where the problem was coming from. 

After The Half

The third quarter was full of offensive issues for The Magic. At 58 points midway through, the Magic allowed the Pacers to get ahead by eight points, and the offense just couldn’t return the points. Orlando started slipping closer to that 4-7 record. They’re also stuck in their solid spot of 12th in the eastern conference, only ahead of the 76ers, the Wizards and surprisingly, the Heat. Toward the end of the game, there was little fight left in the Magic. Unable to build momentum, the Pacers lead by as much as 21 points in the fourth quarter. Indiana nearly ran away with this one at 88-69. After all that, Vogel still had positive things to say.  But he still recognizes there is work to be done.

What’s Next

Vogel deserves some slack. He’s proven what he can do in his career, and he’s brand new to Orlando. If he can work on his team’s offensive strategies, communication and momentum, the Magic’s time will finally come. There is plenty of time for Vogel to turn this season around. the Magic will face New Orleans Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at home.

 

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