5 things we learned from Orlando Magic’s Summer League
Offensive modernization continues
The other thing that became abundantly clear in the Orlando Magic’s Summer League is that their offense is going to work a bit differently. Or at least the Magic are ready to experiment and run their offense using more modern trends.
With Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner starting at forward and Wendell Carter as the likely center, the team not only has the ability to switch everything defensively comfortably, but they should be able to play a true 5-out offense.
That was something that was on display throughout the course of Summer League from the beginning stages where Banchero logged minutes as the nominal center on the perimeter or hunting switches in pick and rolls to take down to the block or the encouragement for non-shooting bigs like Emmanuel Terry and Aleem Ford.
Again, Orlando was playing to their style for the regular season and not necessarily to their personnel.
When Banchero was playing, this 5-out system worked really well. They were able to create and find space for Banchero to drive to the basket and prevent help from getting to him before he could pinpoint a pass.
Orlando’s offense was fairly effective and the team shot 35.5-percent from three in the team’s two games with Banchero on the floor.
Again, life will be a lot different with more guys who can attack the paint like Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs. That along with the threat that Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero give should open up more space to attack the paint if the team is able to space the floor properly and make the right passes and reads.
All of the Magic’s executives have spoken about the team’s high basketball IQ. That will get tested if they do go to a 5-out system. It will test players’ ability to make the right reads on passes, see where doubles and help are coming from and then knock down shots when they are open.
That is still likely the Magic’s biggest weakness as an offensive team — they were 28th in field goal percentage and 28th in 3-point field goal percentage. But it is not one the team is going to hide from.
Orlando finished last season 11th in the league in 3-point field goal attempts per game. In Summer League, the Magic averaged 35.0 3-point attempts per game, the second-most in Las Vegas.
A lot of that was because of the team’s over-reliance on 3-point shooting after Banchero exited. Orlando just could not get consistent penetration without him. But it is a clue to what the team will try to do as they continue to shape this offense.