A day after the New York Knicks seemed to make positive progress by hiring head coach Jeff Hornacek, the Orlando Magic quickly wrapped up their coaching search. Per reports, the team has tabbed former Indiana Pacers leading man Frank Vogel to run the team, just a little over a week after former head coach Scott Skiles re-signed from the team.

Vogel Magic

Vogel could potentially be a perfect fit, as he preached defense and team continuity in Indiana, where he found solid success and appeared in two Eastern Conference Finals series. Vogel brings to Orlando a tradition of competing and winning, having helped the Pacers to the playoffs in five of his six seasons at the helm.

The big question, of course, is just how much of Vogel’s winning in Indiana can rub off on a young and inexperienced Magic team?

It’s tough to doubt Vogel’s impact, as he had Indiana competitive during the 2014-15 NBA season, even though they lost star forward Paul George to injury. That Pacers team wound up missing the playoffs, but played hard most nights and was in the post-season hunt late into the season.

Change of Scenery

The huge difference between Vogel’s Indiana teams and his new Orlando squad is youth. The Magic are very young and don’t boast many players that have playoff experience. Because of that, instilling proper culture and work ethic from day one will be of importance. At least, it would be if Skiles hadn’t already successfully transitioned the Magic to that level of thinking in his lone year on the job.

Orlando remained a young group that was prone to struggles on the road, defensive lapses and bouts with inconsistency, but they also went through spurts of buckling down defensively and playing fantastic team ball offense. The Magic also endured numerous nagging injuries to some star players during the 2015-16 NBA season, yet was still competitive for most of the year, finishing with 35 wins.

Playoff Bound?

The arrow is most certainly pointing back up for Orlando, just a week after losing their leader. One key issue with Skiles and the Magic appeared to be his lack of trust or belief in point guard Elfrid Payton, who Orlando management is said to still be very high on. It will be interesting to see if Payton can continue to develop into the player the Magic think he can be, and whether or not Vogel will have a helping hand in that.

Winning and strong defense have not been easy to come by for the Magic ever since Dwight Howard left a few years ago. With Vogel in tow, it’s possible we see a young and talented team begin to round the corner come the 2016-17 NBA season.

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