The Orlando Magic had a weak offense in the 2016-17 season. A cluttered back-court and a front-court with weak shooting ability struggled to score. Furthermore, they had the 27th ranked offense in the league last season. In order for the Magic to refine their offense, the starters need to be more consistent shooters. Additionally, bench players like Mario Hezonja need to provide an offensive role as well.
Improving the Orlando Magic Offense in 2018
Orlando’s starting lineup looks a little more certain this season. With Aaron Gordon back at power forward, Elfrid Payton showing signs of progress, the Magic have players with the ability to score. Nikola Vucevic should also bounce back this season.
After the All-Star break, Aaron Gordon showed some clear signs of improvement. He was shooting roughly 50 percent from the floor and averaged 16.4 points per game. However, he was only taking just under 11 shots per game through the season. The young forward will have a more clear role with the team this season. Plus, he will be back to spending most of his time at the power forward position. Aaron Gordon needs to increase his number of shots per game, particularly from 2-point range.
Similar to Gordon, Payton began to emerge as a reliable player for Orlando after the All-Star break. He got the attention of the league when he put up multiple triple-doubles late in the season. However, as a point guard, he needs to be a more reliable scorer. Payton has shot under 50 percent his entire career. However, he has slowly risen from 42 percent to 47 in his three seasons.
This year, Payton really needs to make that jump. His best shooting percentages come from very close to the net and from just past the 3-point line. Essentially, his biggest shooting weakness is his mid-range jumper. If Payton can improve his shooting mechanics, his jump shot will naturally improve. Adding a jump shot to his arsenal will make him lethal from mid-range and beyond the arc.
Today’s NBA is making the center position less important than in day’s past. The position is moving toward a “do-everything” player. Ultimately, a center needs to be able to score from the 3-point line to be valuable today. That’s exactly what Vucevic should do to improve the Magic’s offense in this make-or-break year. Moreover, Vucevic has always been a player whose strengths are on the offensive side of the game. He’s a career 50 percent shooter, which isn’t that bad for a center. Furthermore, he’s had seasons where he averages over 8 points a game. Adding 3-point scoring ability can make him invaluable to the offense.
Orlando’s bench rotation will naturally have a less versatile role than the starters. However, it will be important for some of the players to provide some scoring. Players like Mario Hezonja need to show more offensive ability. He can do that by playing a more well-defined role. In addition, Marreese Speights can also provide some offense at center in scoring units.
Offense for the 2017-18 Season
At the present time, Orlando really doesn’t have a roster built for scoring. Under the new management, it will take time for the whole squad to be an offensively powerful team. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely vital that the Magic begin to find offensive consistency within it’s existing team. All things considered, the starters need to show that they are what Orlando hopes to become as it restarts it’s long rebuild.
Embed from Getty Images