5 questions for the Orlando Magic’s offseason
Will Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony improve at the rim?
The Orlando Magic were a bad offensive team. There is no other way to say it. The team had the second-worst offensive rating in the league and they were down near the bottom of every offensive category. The Magic’s biggest challenge as they map their future is figuring out how to score.
It does have to start with the guards with the team’s two young guards who carried a lot of the possession burden.
Cole Anthony led the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game, but he shot only 39.1-percent from the floor. Anthony was pushed into the role of the main scorer when he may not have been best suited for it.
Jalen Suggs’ offensive struggles throughout the season were really apparent. He had a rough rookie year, averaging 11.8 points per game and shot 36.1-percent from the floor and 21.4-percent from beyond the arc.
This is team is very reliant on their guards for offense.
There is a lot for both Anthony and Suggs to improve and work on this offseason. Their 3-point shooting is high on the list.
So too should their ability to finish at the rim.
Anthony shot 55.0-percent in the restricted area on 2.8 field goal attempts per game. Suggs shot 58.9-percent in the restricted area on 4.0 field goal attempts per game.
Among players with at least 2.5 field goal attempts per game within five feet, Anthony had the 11th-worst mark at 52.1-percent on 3.3 attempts per game. Suggs finished 22nd-worst at 54.7-percent on 4.5 attempts per game. Suggs had the 29th most field goal attempts within five feet among guards.
It should be noted too that R.J. Hampton’s finishing at the rim and within five feet were worse than both Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs.
It is easy to see the Magic have a problem finishing at the rim with their guards and on their drives. And that is where a lot of the league’s success is coming these days. Guards drive the league and the ability to get to the rim and put pressure on defenses is critical to creating the space to kick out to the 3-point line.
The Magic’s guards have a long way to go to improve in these areas. But this is a spot where the Magic have to find some improvement. And it could be the key to unlocking the next phase in their development.