3 reasons to be concerned about the 2024 Orlando Magic
Offensive Question Marks
The Orlando Magic have shown a lot of offensive promise. And for now, at least, the team is focused on playing more “by committee” and looking for balanced scoring.
Franz Wagner has been really spurty as a scorer and Paolo Banchero seems to be easing himself into the season rather than taking over. There seems to be more offense to unlock with this team and it has at times looked like a struggle.
So far, it has not mattered too much. The team is winning and being effective enough. The Magic’s defense has been a bigger focus and the thing the Magic believe can carry them to their goals.
Still, the Magic’s expected offensive troubles are still hovering in the background. While Orlando has openly set out to be a top-10 defense this season, the team’s offensive goals are much more modest. The Magic have not had an offense outside the bottom 10 in the league since 2012 (Dwight Howard’s final year).
That is a lot of offensive baggage to overcome. And it is not like the Magic did much to improve on that front — especially their outside shooting.
If there is one lingering concern among the national media in trying to analyze this team, it is the uncertainty on offense. Orlando simply has not proven itself as a capable offensive team. The situation may not be as dire as John Hollinger of The Athletic consistently put it in his season previews, but the offense is still a concern.
That was on display in the Orlando Magic’s 102-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday when the Magic managed only 39 points in the second half against a really poor defensive team seemingly uninterested in defending the paint — credit to the Magic’s defense for giving up only 42 in that time too.
Still, that game highlighted some of the problems that will persist about this team and that the team is still struggling to overcome.
Orlando so far this season is shooting just 18 for 62 (29.0 percent) from three this season. The Magic are certainly encouraged by the team increasing its 3-point volume. But the percentages are certainly not there. And that has only confirmed some of the Magic’s shooting struggles that persist.
It is still early. But a poor percentage was still expected and the Magic might still sit in the bottom 10 in percentage even if they warm up a bit.
Orlando is also still turning the ball over a lot. That was the chief concern for the team coming out of training camp.
The Magic are averaging 15.0 turnovers per game and 15.6 percent turnover rate. That has the team in the middle of the pack so far, but considering the Magic are still a slower-paced team, each turnover feels big for this Magic team.
For now, Orlando is doing fine offensively. The team is ninth in the league with 113.5 points per 100 possessions. But the Magic have one good offensive game and one bad offensive game pulling that number in two directions.
In either case, the offense is certainly still a major concern.