Orlando Magic’s offense still the team’s biggest problem

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Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons
Markelle Fultz again looked impressive in the Orlando Magic’s preseason win over the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /


2020 NBA Median 2019 NBA Median
Full Season 99.0 100.7 98.7 100.5
Pre-All-Star Break 98.2 100.5 98.7 100.5
Post-All-Star Break 101.5 101.3 98.7 100.7
NBA Campus 101.3 101.8
Playoffs 104.6 98.8 95.7 98.6

Pace has been an obsession for this Magic team as they try to build and grow their offense. It is something they talk about endlessly as a necessary part of improving their offense.

Indeed, there is a correlation this year with the team’s increased pace and the team’s increased offensive rating after the All-Star Break. That same correlation did not exist last year.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Pace alone is not likely to change the Magic’s offensive fortunes. And the pace described here is merely possessions per 48 minutes. This is typically not what coaches refer to when they talk about pace. Rather they put their focus on how quickly and intensely they move through their offensive sets.

And certainly playing quicker within half-court sets will create the intensity the Magic need to get easier shots. But playing faster and with more possessions would also help with the personnel the Magic have.

Some of the change and transition Magic fans want to see though still come down to pace in terms of number of possessions. Fans want to see the team play a more up-tempo style. there is something to that for sure.

Markelle Fultz is better at a faster pace where he has the freedom to get up the floor. The Magic’s length, defensive acumen and lack of shooting also would suggest playing faster would be better.

But pace alone is not going to solve the team’s problems.

However, pace remains an important element. It is not necessarily a correlation to better offense. But the Magic need to be better at creating fast-break opportunities — the team finished the season 20th in the league with 11.9 fast-break points per game.

For a team that does not have a ton of shooting, getting easy baskets is vital. And there are no easier baskets than shots at the rim. So a pace reinvention is certainly something the team has to consider.