It’s Time Again for Stan to Chill

NEWARK, NJ — For some reason, for as good as they are, the Orlando Magic don’t draw much attention from the national media when they visit the New York area. Obviously, they don’t have the cachet that the Lakers, Heat or Celtics do, but the Magic are still a legitimate title contender.

And for me at least, Stan Van Gundy, with his pre-and post-game media sessions, always makes the trip to the arena worthwhile. And Saturday was no exception. Van Gundy was open, honest and funny about his role in the Magic’s recent struggles.

The Magic have lost two straight regular-season games for the first time since Jan. 18, a stretch of 47 games. The problem has been on defense, where they allowed the Jazz and Raptors to score 111.5 points per 100 possessions on Wednesday and Friday, a mark well above the 92.8 they allowed in their first six games.

It’s an energy issue according to Van Gundy.

“I think we’ve got some guys who are a little frustrated with the way they’ve been playing,” he said before his team faced the Nets on Saturday. “It’s starting to affect our energy and things like that. We’ve just got to get out of that.”

Van Gundy is willing to shoulder some of the blame, though, for a reason that has come up in the past with the passionate and sometimes grating coach.

“I have been frustrated with our energy and defense, but I think I’ve actually made it worse by the constant harping,” he said. “Guys know what they need to do. And I need to just coach them. It’s a thing I fall back into a lot and need to correct a little bit.”

Early last season, it was Dwight Howard who told Van Gundy that he needed to chill out a bit. But this time, the message came from elsewhere.

“I didn’t get any [feedback] from players this time,” Van Gundy said. “From other people. The one thing about coaching is you get a lot of help. There’s a lot of people out there who help you with your job. You [media] guys are very helpful. Fans… very, very helpful. So you get feedback from a lot of different areas. It’s sort of one I realized anyway, but I got some feedback on it.”

Of course, Van Gundy can’t shoulder all the blame.

“But that’s just my part of it,” he said. “We still have to go out and play hard and play better. I can’t make rotations defensively and things like that. We know what we’re supposed to do. We’ve just got to go out and do it.”


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. bigboy11 says:

    Stan has a hard time getting respect from his players,was the same thing in Miami he kept bugging shaq and Alonzo they told Riley they were not going to play for him.players who would have been good for his team now turk-lo and Matt Barnes but i guess they were too strong for him so they had to go you will never see a Ron artest on that team, he has skilled players but they have no guts

  2. fallendevil says:

    magic is behind bobcats last year for being the best defensive team, they have the 2 time reigning best defensive player of the year. So magic has to build their defense to avoid losing in such games….

  3. Zzanzabar says:

    So how exactly can you get a one dimensional team to ‘play better’? Orlando attempts to ‘overwhelm’ its opponents with a large dose of Howard then a kick out for the 3’s. Sooner or later a team manages to match up and keep the three’s to a minimum and the team loses. Dwight has no confidence in his shot selection (other than the dunk) and this limits the effectiveness of Orlando.

    Stan needs to take a page out of Phil Jackson’s book and go to his reserves early in the game (and season) to generate the ‘energy’ he is looking for (both on defense and offense) plus this gives them the experience they will need later down the stretch for the playoffs. So what if it costs him a game or two early in the season, it is the end game that really matters after all.

  4. The Heat has problems, just as I predicted. Everyone was dogging Kobe for being selfish, with the ball.
    I have watched the Heat play, they are a Mess. LeBron Judas on one wing, just standing there. And Wade
    on the other wing, holding onto the ball to get his 40 points. I am a female, I have been a fan of the game
    since the Walt Frazier and Earl the Pearl Monroe days.

    I know a little something about the game. Until Miami gets 5 players, to play against another team. Their Doomed.
    The Celtics game, they had 5 players on the floor, Miami only had 2 players on the floor, Bosh and Haslem.
    Oops, my bad. I did see 3 ego’s trying to outplay each other.

    A Train Wreak for the next 74 regular season games. Pat Riley don’t wait too long to come back. Call me!

  5. Omarisgay says:

    orlando is kind of feeling carter and lewis’s decline, they’re still as good as ever tho

  6. lala says:

    did anyone else notice the smiley face at the top right hand corner

  7. olschool says:

    itz nice 2 kno that he realize this early in the season. when u are coaching grown men with families it is a whole different story. u can get away with that in HS and college. but in the NBA u have to kno to push buttons and when to let a grown man figure some things out there self. even jerry sloan knows when chill and when to get in ur face. jerry sloan is the most olskool coach there is in the league i think. they will still get there 50 2 55 games this year. just on pure talent. the last thing they need is a brad childress situation.

  8. NBA FAN says:

    Van Gundy needs to be like Vandy (from Blood Diamond) and not have his feet sandy. He should trade for Carl Landry and feed is players candy for energy in the form of ATP.