5 things that have gone right (or wrong) in the first quarter of the Orlando Magic's season
3) Gone Right – Depth and Development
Most NBA teams run eight- or nine-man rotations on a given night. So far this year, the Magic have 12 different players who are averaging double-digit minutes a night thanks to injuries to two starters. But even then, the Magic are comfortable running a 10-man rotation.
Even still six of those 12 players averaging at least 10.0 minutes per game are averaging double-digit points per night.
Early evidence points to Orlando being one of the NBA's deepest teams this season. But how?
Orlando did have two lottery picks this past offseason in Anthony Black and Jett Howard, but only Black so far has started to make an impact at the NBA level (5.2 points per game in 19.5 minutes per game). The Magic also only signed Joe Ingles in free agency. And although he has given the Magic some good minutes and performances this year, he has not been the biggest mover of the needle either.
The biggest reason Orlando’s roster is so much better this year than last is a testament to the development of the returning players.
Jalen Suggs has given the team a nice jump in production averaging almost 3.0 points per game more than last year (12.5 against 9.9) off a 4.8 percentage point jump in field goal percentage and a 5.5 percentage point jump in 3-point shooting.
And even though statistically Cole Anthony has not made a huge leap year over year, he is playing as well as any bench player in basketball right now and deserves some buzz for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award.
The returns on development and hard work for a young and deep roster have been one of the highlights for the Magic and their early success this season.