3 reasons to be concerned about the 2024 Orlando Magic
Rebounding and Size
It is a bit weird to be concerned about the Orlando Magic’s apparent lack of size. This team does everything it can to draft length and be a big team. But this is still a team that is very concerned about its interior size and its ability to rebound.
That goes double considering the central tenet of the Magic’s defense is about defending the interior.
Orlando’s defense has been very good and very disruptive throughout the preseason and early in the season. It is the hallmark of the team — although the team has faced two less-than-stellar offenses to start the year.
Already though, the Magic are feeling the pressure of their rebounding.
Orlando has a 71.7 percent defensive rebound rate this season. That still puts the team in the middle of the pack to start the year. But it feels like every offensive rebound is a killer and it exposes some weakness in this otherwise stellar defense.
Through two games at least, this is the area teams feel like they can attack and find scoring opportunities against this team.
The Magic are giving up just 35.0 points in the paint per game so far this season, second in the league. That is the heart of this team and winning the battle in the paint is essential to the team’s success.
But Orlando is also giving up 16.0 second-chance points per game. The team’s poor rebounding to start the season is the big weakness early on. And there is at least a suggestion this is a flaw in the roster.
Last year, the Magic were eighth in the league with a 73.0 percent defensive rebound rate. But they gave up 13.5 second-chance points per game off their rebound misses. That was just 15th in the league.
Orlando is a team that has to be solid on the glass because when the team does give up offensive rebounds, teams tend to score. It certainly unbalances the floor and leaves the team exposed to giving up three-pointers. That also remains a big weakness for the Magic defensively.
The biggest point with this Magic team is that there is a lot of potential from all sides. The team can be a very good team. But a lot of this group is unproven and right now a slip in one area could be enough to make the whole thing tip over.
While the Magic are very capable of overcoming all of these concerns. There is still a lot to prove for the team to get where it ultimately wants to be.
The Magic are going to have to keep refining and developing their identity. Even with a 2-0 start, Orlando has a lot to improve on.