Orlando Magic Playbook: A first look at the Orlando Magic’s offense

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Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic are trying to work him in the high post and beyond the 3-point line in their base sets. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /


The first was a variation on the ubiquitous Pistol action, in which the point guard receives a screen on the extended wing providing a clear out of one side of the floor.

Here, Cole Anthony receives a rub screen from Michael Carter-Williams to open up the baseline:

Even though Anthony turns it over, his mindset on the play is correct. Attack the rim to either finish one-on-one or find a teammate spaced along the perimeter. He also has the option to call over Khem Birch to initiate a side pick and roll while still maintaining the spacing from the play.

Note the Orlando Magic slotted Evan Fournier in the weak-side corner, which directly puts pressure on his defender to simultaneously serve as the designated helper on Cole Anthony’s drive and the main cover for the Magic’s most consistent outside shooter.

In their second matchup with the Hornets, the Magic ran a similar play to feint the initial Pistol action, providing Markelle Fultz an open lane to make an acrobatic finish at the rim.

Notice on this instance that instead of Dwayne Bacon setting the rub screen, as Michael Carter-Williams does above, he veers to the top of the key.

With the other three Magic players spaced along the arc, there is no early help on Fultz’s drive: