Frank Vogel insists the Orlando Magic will make the playoffs next season

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Frank Vogel was formally introduced as the new head coach of the Orlando Magic on Monday and has immediately promised to bring a winning culture to the franchise. 

The 42-year-old parted ways with the Indiana Pacers earlier this month after the team decided not to renew his contract following six seasons as the head coach in which he only missed the playoffs once.

Vogel had the best record of any coach in Pacers history at 250-181 and has promised to bring the winning feeling back to the sunshine state.

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"We’re going to win, and it’s that simple,’’ Vogel said at his press conference. "We’re going to go out and work our tails off, instill discipline and inspire our guys … and we’re going to win games.

"Obviously, this group hasn’t been to the playoffs, but if you want to look for a bar where we’re going to set the standard for our goals, we’re going to get in the playoffs this year. We’re going to start there.’’

It's a very bold statement for the new Magic coach to make but he is full of confidence in his ability to make it happen and after what he achieved in Indianapolis, it wouldn't surprise anybody if he achieved it in Orlando. 

He inherits of one of the most talented young teams in the league with players such as Aaron Gordan, Victor Oladipo, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, Mario Hezonja and Elfrid Payton. 

Under Scott Skiles - who unexpectedly resigned earlier this month after just one year in charge - the Magic missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season and ended the year with a 35-47 record. 

Right fit

Once Skiles departed, Orlando set its sights on Vogel and were prepared to pull out all the stops to secure him as his exit from Indiana saw him quickly became one of the best coaches on the market.

The Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and the New York Knicks - whom Vogel had a meeting with - all have coaching vacancies at present but the Florida-based franchise was keen to not lose out on their man to one of their rivals.

The former Pacers coach stated that once he spoke with the Orlando front office, his mind was made up.

"My confidence level picked up speed as the process went along,’’ said Vogel, "I was comfortable in the first 15 minutes and then when we were an hour into it I was really excited. Then, once we got two hours into it, it was feeling like, `this is the spot for me.’ It was that accelerated and that quick.’’  


Despite having a good young core, the team is seriously lacking in veteran leadership and experienced players on the floor. 

With a healthy cap space - with as much as $45 million available - the organisation will be looking to make additions in free agency this offseason to create a more balanced roster and to give themselves the best opportunity to win. 

"We need tough guys who are leaders,’’ Vogel added. "Bringing in a guy who has a presence about him that younger players will respect, both with his voice and his approach and his ability to kick some tail on the court, that’s important. We’ll be looking for that guy who has the experience who can lead in the locker room and with his play as well.’’

It's an exciting time to be a Magic fan as the future appears to be looking much brighter for the Southeast Division franchise.

Eastern Conference
Aaron Gordon
Orlando Magic
Southeast Division
Victor Oladipo
Nikola Vucevic

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