By Josh Cohen
Nov. 2, 2017
ORLANDO – So, what’s the formula to determine if a 3-point shot taken was a “high percentage” shot?
It is subjective, no doubt. But, you can ingest specific data to reasonably answer the question.
What can’t be disputed is that the Orlando Magic rank first in 3-point percentage (44.2) and third in threes made per game (12.8). Those are facts.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper and examine the quality of all these 3-point shots.
As every coach preaches, sharp ball movement, unselfishness and patience usually results in taking good shots. This means less settling and more unity.
The most telling stat that insinuates the Magic are indeed sharing the rock, not forcing anything and playing selflessly is with this data:
Orlando has knocked down a league-best 26 threes that were assisted and uncontested. In contrast, only 11 of its made triples have been contested and unassisted. It has buried 102 shots total from long distance.
The Magic are shooting 50 percent (27-of-54) from beyond the arc when the shot is uncontested. Amazingly, last season they ranked last in this relatively hidden category (32.8 percent).
The drive-and-kick game has been particularly effective. Mainly because of the aggressiveness of guys like Evan Fournier, Jonathon Simmons, D.J. Augustin, Terrence Ross and Aaron Gordon, the Magic are getting a lot of open looks when they attack the paint and find open shooters on the perimeter.
Orlando has accumulated the third most drive-and-kick 3-pointers in the NBA with 37 of them.
Yes, the season is very young and things change rapidly, But, this transformation stretches far beyond “luck” or a “fluke.” The Magic are playing the right way. They have outstanding chemistry and they are trusting one another.
Here’s a look at a couple plays that highlight the Magic’s quality 3-point shooting: