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Magic dump coach Vogel, eye change

The Associated Press

Frank Vogel

The Associated PressFrank Vogel was brought to Orlando two years ago with hopes he could get the Magic back to the playoffs, and stop the spinning of the revolving door to their coaches’ office.

Neither of those things happened.

Vogel was fired by the Magic on Thursday about 10 hours after the team wrapped up a 25-57 season, its sixth consecutive losing year. Vogel, who had one year left on his contract, went 54-110 in his two years with Orlando.

The Magic haven’t been to the playoffs since Stan Van Gundy’s final season with the team in 2012. Vogel, who had some successful years coaching the Indiana Pacers before going to Orlando, simply didn’t have the roster to change that.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Frank Vogel as a coach and a person,” said Magic basketball operations president Jeff Weltman, who met with Vogel to deliver the news. “I know he’ll be a head coach again shortly.”

Weltman didn’t give a timetable for finding a new coach.

“We just have to find that right guy,” he said.

Clearly, another season of struggle was not all Vogel’s fault. The Magic used 27 starting lineups this season, none for more than 11 games, 18 for three games or fewer. There was no continuity to the lineup, and only three players appeared in 70 games. In all, injuries and illness robbed the Magic of 227 player games this season — thwarting key parts of Vogel’s plan.

“It was very hard to evaluate it and I’m not sure we were able to get the complete look that we wanted to,” Weltman said. “But that’s sports ... I wish we were blessed with more health this season, but that’s not the way it panned out.”

Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic were the team’s three leading scorers; they combined to miss 74 games, and Gordon will now become a restricted free agent. Bismack Biyombo was the only Magic player to appear in all 82 games, and most of those were as a reserve. And while the season ended with a win, the irony is that the victory hurt Orlando’s draft-lottery chances.Speech

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