: The Magic's act is getting progressively old under the direction of coach Doc Rivers: nine consecutive losses following a season-opening victory, a 1-7 preseason, and a seven-game playoff loss to Detroit in May that Orlando led 3-1.
Management is not discussing Rivers' future, but sources have told the Orlando Sentintel that the franchise has a short list of candidates at the ready should the Magic's season continue down its current path.
"I don't know if I can do a better job, actually, with a group of guys that we have right now," Rivers was quoted as saying in a Sentinel story published Monday. "But we're still losing games.
"It's tough for me. It's tough for the players. It's tough for management. We put them [management] in a tough position because they have to look to see if we're doing a good job. I think we are."
The Magic play the Utah Jazz on Monday night to start a five-game West Coast swing. They have a two-day break before resuming play Thursday in Phoenix.
"I never thought we'd be where we are, not with the talent we have," Tracy McGrady told the Sentinel. "But hey, 1-9 ... that's the reality."
If Rivers were to meet his end this week, Orlando would not have to look beyond its bench for head coaching experience. Assistant Johnny Davis coached the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1996-97 season and Dave Wohl coached the New Jersey Nets from 1985-87. The Nets were a playoff team under Wohl in '86.
The Magic have been overwhelmed by injuries and poor bench play that has exhausted their starters. For those reasons, forward Drew Gooden defended Rivers.
"I hate it when teams are struggling. You don't look at what's going on, on the court; you look behind the scenes for an excuse," Gooden was quoted as saying in the Sentinel. "There's no way in this world this is all on Doc Rivers. We're all out there playing. He's doing the best job he possibly can. Doc Rivers should be our coach this season, next season, the season after that and the season after that."