Why Things Are Set to Get Better in Orlando
The Daily News
Last season, the Orlando Magic finally got back into the playoffs for the first time since 2011-2012. Coming into this season there was plenty of evidence to point towards to the Magic being a playoff team again, and potentially even being better than last year.
They re-signed important veterans like: Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, and Khem Birch. They have young players who were poised to take a leap like: Aaron Gordon (yes, he is still young), Jonathan Isaac, Mo Bamba, and Markelle Fultz. So why have the Magic lost seven of their first ten games this year?
For starters, as of November 10th, the Magic have been the worst offensive team in the league. They were second to last in the league in offensive rating at 99.8, and dead last in both effective and true shooting percentage. This can be one of two things; they could be failing to generate quality shots, or they could just simply be missing lots of make-able shots.
I lean towards them missing make-able shots. The team has lots of continuity and they are running the same system they ran last year, with basically the same players. They are comfortable creating the same shots they did last year; and they actually have one more creator than they did last year in Markelle Fultz.
It comes down to Nikola Vucecic, Terrence Ross, and D.J. Augustine all shooting under 30% from three. Al-Farouq Aminu and Gordon are shooting right at 30%. The only players who are shooting decent percentages from down-town are Evan Fournier and Isaac.
Things have started to turn around for the Magic, they are currently on a three game win-streak. They have been generating the same looks on offense, but they are starting to fall now.
Vooch is shooting 67% from three during this win streak, and has had an effective field goal percentage of 60.4%, that is elite. The video below shows him knocking down a three in their recent win over the Wizards.
Markelle Fultz is only getting more and more comfortable; he will continue to get better as the season continues. The videos below show him dunking the ball with authority in recent wins.
Evan Fournier has been great all season. He is shooting 57.9% from three and is sporting a 69.7% effective field goal percentage during their win-streak.
What might be the biggest signs the team’s success will continue is the teams overall defensive rating and their net rating of their new starting lineup and bench unit. The Magic have the third best defensive rating in the league, despite their horrendous offense. The net rating of the new starting five with Fultz inserted is 5.9, which is very solid. The net rating of the bench lineup with Aaron Gordon in it is 11.3, that is very good. All of those lineups had at least 30 minutes played together.
The Orlando Magic have the talent; I expect their winning to continue.