Orlando Magic Free Agency Preview: Analyzing the Magic’s lineups
Markelle Fultz-Cole Anthony-Gary Harris-Paolo Banchero-Wendell Carter (110.4/119.3 off./def. rating., -8.9 net rating, 97 minutes)
The Orlando Magic also tried a lot of lineups with multiple guards. They were never afraid to have multiple ball handlers on the floor. Indeed, that seems like a central thesis in their roster construction. They want to have as many playmakers on the floor as possible to exploit mismatches.
Still, this is a lineup that disappointed last year.
Cole Anthony and Gary Harris were two of the Magic’s best shooters and yet they could not save this lineup or give it a boost.
Some of it might have come down to a lack of size. Size is Orlando’s great advantage against most teams. It clogs passing and driving lanes and allows for switching.
The lineups with Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony and Gary Harris lacked this size. In fact, the trio of Fultz, Anthony and Harris had a net rating of -15.1 points per 100 possessions in 143 minutes together.
Things did get much worse than this heavily used lineup.
So how do the Magic fix this?
If the idea is to have three ball handlers on the floor, Anthony Black would seemingly resolve a lot of these issues. Black provides defense and playmaking, so putting him in place of a non-shooter like Fultz or instead of a smaller guard like Anthony or Harris would work better.
The numbers from last year clearly suggest that playing Fultz, Anthony and Harris together is a bad idea. They need some size out there. And so Black certainly seems like a solution to make this group work together better.
That is a need the Magic have already addressed through the draft. And finding bigger ball handlers like Black are indeed a difficult thing to find.