2018-19 Orlando Magic Player Evaluations: Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic are eager to get things going in the 2020 season. (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic are eager to get things going in the 2020 season. (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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D.J. Augustin, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 5: D.J. Augustin #14 of the Orlando Magic shoots the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 5, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Point Guards

. Orlando Magic. . POINT GUARDS. B+

Entering the season, there were no bigger questions for the Orlando Magic than the point guard position.

Fans lamented being unable to grab a point guard in the draft — some fans still think Collin Sexton or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should have been the pick over Mohamed Bamba, but hindsight is 20/20 and one year is hardly enough to judge a draft pick.

Then they lamented the team passing on signing a free agent like Isaiah Thomas (he played just 181 minutes in 12 games this year).

The team’s patience on those fronts appeared to pay off. But only because the Magic got such stellar play from their point guards overall. Or at least surprising play.

D.J. Augustin had a stellar season for the team. He was consistent as the starting point guard, shooting from the outside and doing a good job running the offense and attacking off the dribble. That is really all the team needed from the position. Someone who can make it go.

That turned out to be the biggest need for the team off the bench.

Augustin was not someone who got the team moving at an incredibly fast pace, but he was always on the attack and he was able to get the team into their offense quickly and work off the ball or in pick and rolls, where he scored 0.96 points per possession on that play.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

But pace was a big part of what made the Magic’s offense worked. The Magic’s search for a backup was a search for someone who could pick the team’s energy and speed up and get into the paint to cause havoc.

Jerian Grant was struggling to get the team moving. The team suffered for it and Orlando seemed at a loss when the second unit came in while Augustin was out.

The season for the Magic turned when Isaiah Briscoe ascended to the role of backup point guard. He was willing to drive into the lane and be a pest on both ends. He was a wrecking ball forcing the defense to react to him.

His injury gave way to Michael Carter-Williams who only picked up the pace more and kept the team constantly on the attack.

This was a flawed group for sure. And that revealed itself in the playoffs. The Toronto Raptors were able to exploit the team’s lack of size at the position and their inconsistent shooting. Once they cut off Augustin’s attack, the Magic got virtually nothing from that position.

The Magic did not solve their point guard problem. The team still needs to find an upgrade.

Perhaps they found it in Markelle Fultz. The former top overall pick is someone who can attack off the dribble and use his physicality to get into the paint and force the defense to react to him. But there is still a lot of work to do.

Augustin’s main job was to hold the boat steady. His consistency was the most valuable thing he provided to the Magic. And that was enough to get them there. But Orlando certainly is still looking for more.