Scott Skiles Rumors
Head coach Scott Skiles, someone who played in the NBA for 10 years and mentored younger players for much of them, feels that if the team had a couple of more experienced veterans it might have been able to stabilize itself during the season’s most pivotal stretch. “We’ve got to get tougher,’’ Skiles said. “We can’t let a two- or three-game skid turn into what it did. We’ve got to be mentally tougher and some of that does come from being more mature.’’
While the Magic are hoping for another summer of growth from Aaron Gordon (20 years old), Mario Hezonja (20), Elfrid Payton (22), Victor Oladipo (23) and Fournier (23), GM Rob Hennigan and Skiles agree that the team needs to add some veteran leadership over the summer via free agency and trades. Orlando dealt its most experienced player, Channing Frye, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in February – a move designed to create more salary cap space when the free-agent courting process begins on July 1.
“There’s a couple different ways we could look at [Thursday night],” Skiles said. “We could look at and not even address it other than, ‘Let’s move on.’ Or actually look at kind of how we lost and how he got 51. So we chose to look at it. “We looked at a lot of clips this morning. He just got way too many easy baskets. We gave up a high field-goal percentage against Indiana, Philly and now again [Thursday night]. It’s very hard to, say, be a top five defensive-field-goal percentage team. One of things we’re trying to impress upon our guys is it’s hard, but it’s worth it if you’ll commit to it and do it.”
Coach Scott Skiles said he hasn’t spoken to any of his players about trade rumors. “We had a situation in Chicago where there were a lot of rumors about trading three or four of our key guys for Kobe [Bryant] one year,” Skiles said. “It had a big effect on our team, and ultimately we talked about it a few times. I kind of phrased it like, ‘It’s out of your control. Why worry about it? You have to show up and play. And what would be so bad about going to L.A.?’ ”
“The reality is there’s a lot of guys in the locker room that haven’t won many games,” coach Scott Skiles said. “They’ve got to figure out how to get out of it, and the way you get out of it is you work yourself out of it. You start a game with energy, and balls will start going in for you; good things will start happening for you.