Should Stan Van Gundy Be on the NBA Coaching Hot Seat Entering 2011-12 Season?

Eddie WaltersAnalyst IIOctober 4, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Head coach Stan Van Gundy converses with Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Assuming NBA owners and players can come to an agreement and we do have a NBA season this year, should Stan Van Gundy be on the hot seat in Orlando?

Van Gundy has been statistically the Magic's best coach in franchise history, believe it or not.

In just his first year with the Magic, Van Gundy led the Magic to their first divisional championship since the 1995 season. Van Gundy has since coached the Magic to four straight playoff appearances, including an Eastern Conference championship in 2009. In that span, the Magic have 52 games or more each year.

The Magic have had great successes with Van Gundy leading the team, but when your organization has the NBA's second-highest payroll and the best center in the world—good seasons are not always enough. 

The Magic were booted from the 2011 playoffs in just the first round, and when your organization is trying to convince its star player (Dwight Howard) he can win a championship with his current team—first-round departures are not going to cut it. 

The Magic are a good NBA team, but they have regressed each year since 2009, when they reached the NBA Finals. 

It is easy to point the blame at the head coach, in fact, it's expected. But some of the questionable moves made by general manager Otis Smith have made things extremely difficult on Van Gundy, who has seen his roster changed entirely each of the past two seasons.

Last year, Van Gundy had to adjust his rotations entirely just 21 games into the year with the acquisitions of Hedo Turkoglu, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark. 

On one hand, it is the responsibility and job of the head coach to adjust on the fly and win regardless of the situation, but it was evident that the Magic took a step back after those trades. It takes time to work in two new players to your starting lineup, time that Van Gundy was not given. 

The current lockout will not help the chemistry of the Orlando Magic players who have yet to go through any type of offseason training camp together and they once again will not be doing so this year. 

If Smith continues to change the Orlando Magic roster not only in the offseason, but during the season, too, Orlando Magic fans can only expect so much from Van Gundy. 

Van Gundy should not be on the hot seat heading into the 2011-12 season, but if the Magic fail to advance out of the first round this year, he indeed will be heading into it the following season.