Jacque Vaughn continues to be as optimistic as possible as coach of the Orlando Magic.
But it definitely hasn’t been easy.
“I keep believing that it’s going to turn in our favor, to be honest with you,” he said. “I’m genuine. I’m upfront with them. I tell them as fair as I can, that you continue to work hard, you don’t skip steps. You control your thoughts. Easy right now to let misfortune and misgiving get into your mind. This is life’s lessons also basketball-wise. This is an opportunity for you to fight through something. Stay together as a team, easy, easy to give in.”
The biggest problems Vaughn and the Magic have is with shooting. Nikola Vucevic is the only player with a decent scoring average right now with 52 percent average per game. He shot 6-of-12 Friday in a 97-84 loss to the Boston Celtics. On Saturday, in a 107-98 setback to the Milwaukee Bucks, Vucevic shot 10-of-16 from the floor.
This game with the Bucks showed, by itself, why the Magic are struggling. E’Taun Moore was 3-of-14 from the floor. J.J. Redick was 5-of-13. Maurice Harkless was 7-of-16.
The Magic can’t shoot the ball, it’s that simple.
Everyone knew it wasn’t going to be easy when Dwight Howard left the team. It obviously hasn’t been easy.
“But our coaching staff, we will continue to fight,” Vaughn said. “We will continue to be resilient, continue to push these guys but continue to hug them at the same time. That’s what we do.”