3 numbers to get excited about, 3 numbers to worry about from the Orlando Magic’s preseason
Be Excited: Franz Wagner’s 46-9-8
Franz Wagner played 52.9 minutes in the Orlando Magic’s preseason across three games. A lot of Magic players have admitted they used the preseason more to get themselves in shape and tried not to over-exert themselves too much.
If that is the case, then if this is Wagner playing at half-speed. . . oh boy.
Wagner finished his preseason with a team-high 46 total points, making 18 of 24 field goals overall and 7 of 11 3-pointers. Add in solid nine rebounds and eight assists — without a turnover — and you have the makings of an interesting stat line for nearly a full game’s worth of minutes.
In the preseason of course.
What was most impressive about Wagner is that even during a time when the Magic were probably not going at their absolute hardest, Wagner still seemed able to score. If anyone is going to benefit from the Magic passing more, it will be Wagner because he thrives in catching defenses off balance and attacking those gaps.
What was really exciting was how the rest of Wagner’s game seemed to come around. He had modest passing stats — 3.5 assists per game — and rebounding stats — 4.1 rebounds per game. Those were both areas he could aim to improve.
The passing and playmaking especially should be intriguing. Orlando wants to run an offense where there is no true point guard. Everyone is capable of bringing the ball up when needed and initiating offense. The Magic want to trust all their players to make decisions as they get downhill.
Wagner showed this on several occasions by being able to whip the ball to the weakside corner for several open threes. Wagner’s growth as a passer is very much a big reason why the Magic suddenly seemed to be able to move the ball and get high-quality three-pointers.
That feels like something that will carry over. Especially as the Magic ramp up their scorers.