The search for the Orlando Magic’s greatest shooter

Orlando Magic forwar Dennis Scott helped redefine the 3-point shot in basketball. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Magic forwar Dennis Scott helped redefine the 3-point shot in basketball. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic’s history is integral to the development of the modern NBA game, even if the league does not want to admit it considering the franchise’s decided lack of titles and precious few Hall of Fame players.

The Magic’s 1995 Finals team is remembered for the promise of its youth and how the young franchise and team overtook the lead and seemed to set up a decade of dominance. The team fell short of that mark thanks to conditions out of their control.

But the revolution they initiated — along with the Houston Rockets that season — began to change the league.

The Magic were again a key part of the league’s revolution when Stan Van Gundy arrived on the scene in 2007 and got his team to the NBA Finals in 2009.

Taking what the 7 Seconds or Less Phoenix Suns did and putting it into overdrive, mixed with an increasing emphasis on analytics and a new understanding of what is effective and efficient basketball, the 2009 Orlando Magic revolutionized the power forward position with Rashard Lewis and maximized their center with four 3-point shooters surrounding a future Hall of Famer in Dwight Howard.

The 2009 Magic proved 3-point shooting was not merely a gimmick for strong regular seasons. They showed that a style of pace, pick and rolls and 3-point shooting could win meaningfully in the NBA. Even toppling LeBron James near the height of his powers (and pushing him out of the door in Cleveland).

In the decade-plus since, 3-point shooting has only become more important. It is the defining skill for many players and an essential weapon for teams in both the regular season and the playoffs. It is simply indispensable and essential to success in the league now.

Three-point shooting is the defining skill of the modern NBA and it was a revolution the Orlando Magic helped usher in. As we enter the dead part of the offseason, we are hunting for the best shooters in Magic history.

Teams that do not shoot well do not win.

That has been part of the Magic’s problem in the last decade. The revolution they helped usher in has seemingly passed them by.

It is something the team is still trying to recover as 3-point shooting has gone into overdrive — the record for 3-point attempts once set by the 2009 and 2010 Magic would rank them middle of the pack in the current league.

Shooting is vitally important to the league now. It is an undeniably necessary skill. And so it deserves a historical spotlight at this exciting and hopeful time in Magic history.

We are nearing August now and most of the work this offseason is completed. While there is plenty to look forward to, we are going to look backward.

As we have done in the past when we named the most popular players in Magic history and the most overlooked players in Magic history, in addition to our periodic rankings of the best team and best players in team history (not to mention our pandemic distraction Magic Madness Tournament), we are gathering the Orlando Magic Daily staff to vote on who the best shooters in Magic history are (updating our 2016 list).

Currently, our staff is putting together their lists of the top 10 shooters in Magic history. We will also be including the top-10 in Magic history in both 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals made.

We are also asking you for your ranking of the top 10. You can submit your vote by voting in our poll by clicking here. We will record everyone’s responses at 12:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, August 6.

From there, we will combine and weigh the results of everyone’s ballots and share them with you all. We will hopefully have the whole project done by the end of August.

Shooting is more important than ever in the NBA. There is no denying this. And so we will celebrate the team’s shooting during this dead period in the NBA offseason with our ranking and stories about the Magic’s shooting.

Next. Dwight Howard is thinking about his legacy. dark

Happy voting and we are looking forward to seeing the results!