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Magic's Scott Skiles hire gets mixed reviews

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An emerging consensus: Orlando's new coach isn't a slam-dunk to succeed.

Scott Skiles
Scott Skiles
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic are thrilled to have Scott Skiles aboard as their new head coach, a transaction they made official Friday. The media, however, have registered their skepticism with the hire.

At Yahoo! Sports' Ball Don't Lie blog, Kelly Dwyer writes the Magic need to have a plan for Skiles' successor in place, given how quickly he and his players tend to tire of each other. That assessment sounds harsh, but Dwyer does offer more optimistic words later.

"[Skiles] will come in and kick ass and push the Magic into winning games that they shouldn’t," says Dwyer, "handing big minutes to players both young and old, and making the Magic’s home arena a hellscape for those who played in Charlotte or Miami the night before." The Magic and their fans would certainly accept that sort of turnaround, given how poorly Orlando has played since it's started its rebuild, even at Amway Center.

Meanwhile, at ESPN Insider, Kevin Pelton shares Dwyer's skepticism. Pelton acknowledges that Skiles will undoubtedly improve Orlando's defense, which rated 25th in the 2014/15 season, but wonders what the Magic's proverbial ceiling might be with their new coach. Without a superstar on the roster, and given Skiles' lack of postseason success--the former Magic point guard has advanced past the first round of the playoffs twice in 13 seasons--there's only so far Skiles can take this club, Pelton says.

"There's a longtime sacrifice to the short-term benefit of adding Skiles, and that's why I suspect the Magic will ultimately regret this hire," Pelton concludes.

The strongest endorsement for Skiles came from Air Bud.

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