3 numbers to get excited about, 3 numbers to worry about from the Orlando Magic’s preseason
Get Excited: 43.1 percent 3-point field goal percentage (in the first half)
Maybe this is getting too far out ahead of our skis here, but the Orlando Magic’s offense could be a lot pluckier and more dynamic than everyone believes.
Yes, the team has talked about having defense as the team’s identity and critical to the team’s success. Yes, the Magic have talked repeatedly about how they believe they can be a top-10 defense and that is their primary focus.
What I saw in the preseason though was an offense that is bubbling around doing something interesting. Will that bear out? That is certainly more unproven than the team’s defense after they finished seventh in the league in defensive rating over the final 57 games.
Still, nothing would help the Magic’s defense more than establishing a good offense. And everyone knows the Magic’s biggest weakness is their shooting.
That is why the preseason — albeit in an insanely small sample size of three games and a preseason sample at that — was at least intriguing.
Orlando had the best 3-point field goal percentage in the first half of its preseason games of any team in the NBA. The Magic shot 43.1 percent from deep on 18.0 attempts per game in the first half of their preseason games.
Even taking out the hot-shooting against Flamengo, Orlando made 40.7 percent of 18.0 attempts per game in the first half. That is encouraging.
Even the increase in attempts per game after Orlando took only 31.1 per game last year (27th in the league) was encouraging to see. The Magic are focusing on getting more 3-point attempts is a good thing ultimately for the Magic’s offensive progression.
Orlando probably is not going to shoot in the 40s. But even climbing from last year’s 34.6 percent to above 35.0 percent would be a significant step for this team and dramatically change this offense’s prospects.
There probably is not much concern for the defense ultimately. But if the Magic can somehow get an offense near the top half of the league, that could truly open things up for what this team is capable of doing.