Orlando Magic Playbook: 5 ways the Orlando Magic offense changed after the All-Star Break

Jan 22, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Amway Center. Golden State Warriors defeated the Orlando Magic 118-98. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Amway Center. Golden State Warriors defeated the Orlando Magic 118-98. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Elfrid Payton renaissance

Elfrid Payton’s future with the Orlando Magic is up in the air this summer. There is no doubt the team will be examining every position and the point guard position especially closely.

Payton’s season was inconsistent, to say the least. He struggled in the cramped space the Magic offense afforded early in the season and he lost his starting job for some time.

Payton after the All-Star Break was seemingly a different player. The five triple-doubles were a big boost, of course. That was a symptom of his larger change as a player.

The stats bear this out too.

Before the All-Star Break, Payton took 20.0 percent of his shots from the inefficient 10-24 feet range. He took 46.3 percent of his shots within five feet. He took 19.4 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

He still got a lot of his shots at the rim. But a lot of that changed for the better after the All-Star Break as he left behind the mid-range shooting where he struggles.

After the All-Star Break, Payton took 57.4 percent of his shots within five feet and 7.4 percent of his shots from the 3-point line. That is a better split for Payton. He took only 17.8 percent of his shots from 10-24 feet.

This is all to say Payton did a much better job attacking the basket and causing the defense to collapse. That helped him increase his scoring average to 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game. He took control of the offense and was on the attack constantly.

That is easily seen in the highlights above.

You can tell Payton had a much more comfortable control over the pace of games. It seemed spreading the floor (duh, for him) and telling him to push awoke something in him that turned him into a stronger offensive force. Any improvement the Magic had offensively, was likely because of his resurgence late.