3 New Year's Resolutions for the Orlando Magic in 2024
3. Win the turnover battle night-to-night
Young teams struggle with turnovers and Orlando is not the outlier, here.
Many young teams, even those in the postseason, have consistent issues protecting the ball. The 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder, the season's eventual Western Conference champions, led the league in turnovers per game. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors' first championship team in 2015 saw the team finish with the sixth-highest turnovers per game.
With high pace and not a ton of isolation in the half-court offense comes turnovers simply due to how much the ball moves.
In 2012? The Thunder were fifth in pace. Golden State led the league in 2015. This season, Orlando sits 12th in pace (although the team's pace numbers rate higher than both Oklahoma City and Golden State's campaigns mentioned above as the league has gotten faster in that sense).
Orlando sits at 13-5 in games they have won the turnover battle and 6-7 on the other side of it. They have shown an ability to win on the defensive side in games they lose the turnover battle (they force the second-most turnovers per game with 15.6), so it is not as much about simply the number of turnovers they give up.
They are a young team that thrives off defense but can also be dismantled down the stretch in a close game with turnovers. They can come back from a seven-turnover quarter against the New York Knicks in December but every possession that ends without a shot is a lost one for a team that struggles to score.
The truth is though that the same numbers in April and May would be a backbreaker in a seven-game playoff series.
The Magic are on the rise. Their young core is improving with every game, flying around the court, and stuffing the win column. There are always places to improve but things are looking bright inside Kia Center heading into 2024.