Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was Steve Clifford’s boss for six years. He praises the Charlotte Bobcats’ next coach in all the predictable ways:

Organized, detail-oriented, tactically innovative …

Then you ask Van Gundy what is distinctive about Clifford’s profile.

“What sets him apart is he can walk the line,” Van Gundy told the Observer Tuesday. “He’s a demanding guy, but he’s very, very good with people. He has an engaging personality.”

The Bobcats are expected to formally announce Clifford as their sixth head coach Wednesday. People skills would be valuable to coaching any of the NBA’s 30 teams, but perhaps especially so to the roster Clifford will inherit.

His predecessor, Mike Dunlap, was fired after a single season in the job. For all of Dunlap’s technical skill, his approach to personalities doomed him. His coarse personality often alienated some of his players.

Clifford has to strike a balance between fixing a team with numerous deficiencies and tending to the morale of players who’ve gone 28-120 the past two seasons, worst in the NBA.

Van Gundy, who worked with him from 2007 through 2012, says Clifford can pull that off.

“Steve was assigned individual work with our forwards. Hedo Turkoglu is a very talented guy who can get lazy,” Van Gundy said. “Steve was great at showing him (what he was doing wrong) with just a few clips” of video.

That’s one of Clifford’s favorite teaching tools: Video doesn’t lie. He’ll edit 50 plays a particular player made down to a snippet – no fewer than three, but never more than five. He’ll walk his laptop over to the player for a quiet moment, show visual evidence of the wrong and right way to do something, and move on.

It’s called economy of communication and it’s essential in the NBA where a team might be playing four games in five nights. Often during the season a coach can’t efficiently work his players for more than 45 minutes on the practice court. Van Gundy said Clifford has a knack for distilling everything he’s seen into a couple of crucial corrections.

“He doesn’t overwhelm people,” Van Gundy said. “NBA coaching is so much about deciding priorities – what goes the furthest in making you better.

“The other thing about Steve is he knows when to push hard and when just to crack a joke. … He’s very even-keeled. When we lost five in a row or won five in a row, he was the same guy. Not ‘We stink!’ or ‘We’re great!’ ”