3 keys for the Orlando Magic to make the Play-In Tournament

Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic find themselves playing meaningful games and with a real chance to make the Play-In Tournament. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic find themselves playing meaningful games and with a real chance to make the Play-In Tournament. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /
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Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers
Markelle Fultz was a big key for the Orlando Magic as they came away with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

3 Keys for Orlando Magic’s Play-In push

Turnovers and Transition defense

Besides shooting, the biggest struggle for young teams is turning the ball over. And the Orlando Magic have fallen victim to this. The Magic average the sixth-most turnovers in the league at 15.1 per game and feature the fifth-worst turnover rate in the league at 15.2 percent.

This is hurting them more than anything else.

With a struggling offense, the Magic need to make sure they are holding the other team to a low score in order to be in games. The Magic give up nearly 15 fast break points per game which is the eighth-most in the league.

This is due to carelessness and poor decision-making. They can not be giving up this many fast break points with their low-scoring offense. The Magic’s opponents average just less than eight steals per game which is the seventh-most in the league, and those are just forced turnovers.

The Magic have four players who average at least 4.0 turnovers per game. Those four players are Markelle Fultz, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter. They represent the four players who touch the ball the most and who the offense goes through the most.

And Jalen Suggs is right on the cusp of being a fifth at 1.9 per game.

This is normal and expected for a young team. But it is also something to figure out. If the Magic are going to take a step up in the standings, they need to limit their mistakes, especially at critical moments in games.

If they are going to be frequent ball handlers, they can not give the ball away as often as they do.

The Magic rely on them to score and run their offense, so they can not afford for those players to be coughing it up.

Fewer turnovers mean more possessions for potential points, which the Magic need more than anything. It also means fewer easy bucket opportunities for the other teams. These struggles go back to ball movement.

The Magic average the ninth-highest turnover frequency when isolating, so the more they swing the ball and do not let the offense get stagnate, the fewer turnovers they will have.

It is nearly impossible to win games when you are giving the ball away so frequently.

The Magic can help their offensive struggles tons if they stop giving the ball away, this is the main factor in making a push for the play-in.

With time running out on the season, the Magic need to get things together rather quickly. They have had two-thirds of the season to see what has not worked and what they are doing wrong.

The Magic are young, learning and excited to have a chance at some playoff basketball, so they should be hungry to turn this around. The Post All-Star Break is when a lot of teams turn it around, so why not the Magic?

The East is very close and a small win streak could put the Magic in a great position.

Next. Orlando Magic's final play-in push begins now. dark

They are only behind the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards for a play-in spot. These are struggling teams with lots of injuries. Nobody has pulled away and firmly put the spot out of reach for the Magic.

Orlando controls its own destiny and has the ability to put itself in a good spot to make the play-in with sharper play.