Lessons and trends the Orlando Magic must learn from the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers

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Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic, Quinn Cook, Los Angeles Lakers
Markelle Fultz recorded his second career triple-double as the Orlando Magic defeated the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Lesson 4: Multiple Playmakers

The Miami Heat were not at full strength for the NBA Finals and it showed despite their best efforts.

The Los Angeles Lakers were always in control of the series, but Jimmy Butler did all he could to carry the Miami Heat to the title. And he nearly did it with two historic triple-doubles. He was carrying the team at every turn.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

It was clear watching the Heat how much they missed Goran Dragic and, to some extent, Bam Adebayo. The Heat needed a second playmaker. They needed someone who could break down the defense and create for others.

The Lakers had that in LeBron James, the league leader in assists this year and one of the best superstar playmakers in NBA history. They also got a great Finals run from Rajon Rondo, who continued to add to his playoff legend.

Having multiple playmakers made everyone’s life easier. It was necessary to break the defense as they loaded up against the star players and did their best to wall off the paint. Every team needs multiple playmakers to make everything work.

The Orlando Magic seem to have one in Markelle Fultz. He is still growing in the league, but he was good at getting to the basket and creating for others. As essentially a rookie, the Magic have to be excited about where Fultz can grow.

But finding that second playmaker and creator is going to be a huge challenge.

A criticism of this Magic team from fans has been its reliance on Evan Fournier to create. He has to take a lot of shots. And even though Fournier was very efficient this season as a shooter, being a primary playmaker is not his forte. He works better attacking rotating defense or as a catch-and-shoot or cutting option.

The Magic would get a lot more from Fournier if they had a second guy in the lineup who could create and allow Fournier to work more as a spacer.

Like shooting, more guys who can create will help teammates get open shots and better looks for three. It really is a symbiotic relationship between spacing and creation.