5 things that went right (and wrong) for the Orlando Magic in the first quarter of the 2024 season

The Orlando Magic are riding high after a strong start to their season. Things could not have gone better. But as the team head stoward the midpoint of the year, there is still a lot for the team to improve.
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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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.

Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner have become one of the best young duos in the league this season averaging 41.0 points/12.6 rebounds/8.3 assists per game between the two of them.

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.