3 numbers to get excited about, 3 numbers to worry about from the Orlando Magic’s preseason
Be Worried: 41.0 points allowed in the paint per game
The central tenet for the Orlando Magic this season is going to be all about the paint. Orlando wants to win the battle in the paint.
That means getting downhill on offense and putting pressure on the rim to score on the interior or dish out for open 3-pointers. That means preventing field goal attempts and shots at the rim and paint, using the team’s length to scramble out and challenge at the 3-point line.
This was something that shined throughout the preseason. Orlando remained one of the best defensive teams in the paint throughout the preseason.
For the preseason, the Magic ranked fifth in the league giving up 41.0 points in the paint per game. Throw out the Flamengo game, Orlando was 11th giving up 44.7 points in the paint per game. In the first half of the Magic’s first three preseason games, they gave up 23.3 points in the paint per game (15th in the league)
This is a far cry from what the Magic were able to do last year. Orlando ranked sixth in the league giving up 46.7 points in the paint per game. More than that, Orlando gave up just 24.3 field goal attempts per game in the restricted area last season (fifth-fewest in the league).
Orlando did give up a lot of 3-point attempts. That was part of the trade-off of packing the paint so much.
This will be a central story for the Magic’s defense this year. And if they want to be a top-10 defense, it will start in the paint.
The preseason showed the Magic having some weaknesses on the interior — in addition to the increased scoring in the interior, the Magic gave up 23.8 field goal attempts per game in the restricted area during the preseason. That was 10th in the league.
Orlando will have to be more attentive with their interior defense to make good on that defensive potential.