Five questions for the 2017-18 Orlando Magic’s second quarter

Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (2) goes for a basket against the Golden State Warriors at Amway Center Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The Warriors beat the Magic 133-112.(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (2) goes for a basket against the Golden State Warriors at Amway Center Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The Warriors beat the Magic 133-112.(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images) /
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Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 22: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic goes for a lay up against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 22, 2017 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

How much more responsibility will Aaron Gordon receive?

The biggest revelation of the first quarter of the season was Aaron Gordon. It was important for the Orlando Magic to develop hope and set a clear path for their future. Jeff Weltman was going to use this year to evaluate every player on the roster. No one seemed safe.

Now it looks like Gordon will be a part of that core. The Magic have to feel comfortable matching any offer he would receive in restricted free agency.

That has all been earned.

Gordon is averaging career highs in almost every statistical category. He is averaging a team-high 18.7 points per game. Gordon has had regular 40-point scoring outbursts. He has scored at least 10 points in every game he has played.

Gordon is hitting pull-up 3-pointers, spot-up 3-pointers and step-back 3-pointers. He is probing the defense and getting into his own rhythm with his shot. Gordon’s offensive game has expanded.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Even though Gordon takes the third most shots on the team, there are plenty of calls to give him more. There are indeed times the Magic do not get Gordon as involved in the offense as he should be. Everyone wants to see Gordon doing more.

The rest of this season — and their ultimate success this year and beyond, if we are being completely honest — lies on Gordon’s shoulders. Orlando has to explore just how far his game will go.

That does not mean doing anything completely out of the ordinary to get him involved. The Magic should not turn him into a point guard or primary playmaker. Just a few extra possessions and maybe a few more isolation or post-up opportunities. Not that he is super efficient in those areas.

Frank Vogel is right that most of Gordon’s offense comes within the flow of the offense. And it should remain that way. But the Magic should also find ways to get him more responsibility. Calling more plays for him and making more of a featured player will accomplish that.

It is what the Magic need. And they need to see his game flourish.

Gordon has earned everyone’s confidence. Now he has to match his strong first quarter with a strong next quarter of the season. Consistency is how you build your All-Star resume. And if the Magic are winning and in the Playoff race, it will be hard to ignore Gordon.