By Josh Cohen
Oct. 26, 2017
The Magic rank #1 in 3-point percentage and #2 in 3-pointers made per game
Orlando knocked down 35 threes combined during its recent two-game road trip and then got hot late from downtown in the win over Brooklyn on Tuesday. Aaron Gordon appears to be a much improved outside shooter, as he made all five of his 3-point attempts in that victory. Nikola Vucevic sank six from beyond the arc a few days earlier against the Nets.
The Magic rank #2 in assists and #10 in assist percentage
The Magic have been very unselfish, patient and entrusting. They are sharing the rock and spreading the floor. Even without Elfrid Payton, who continues to recover from a hamstring injury, Orlando’s playmaking has been impressive. Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Jonathon Simmons have all shown their abilities to facilitate.
The Magic rank #4 in pace and #6 in PIE (player impact estimate)
A goal for this season was to play up-tempo and accommodate the strengths of the core of this team. The Magic have done exactly that, as they have the second highest offensive rating in the league and are averaging 88 field goal attempts. Among players who have appeared in at least four games so far, Vucevic ranks 13th in PIE.
The Magic rank #1 in shooting between 20-24 out and #5 within five feet
Shot distance is very important, as most basketball analytic gurus will tell you. The Rockets have flourished in recent years because of their philosophy to reduce mid-range jumpers. The Magic have adopted a similar approach, at least in the early going. Orlando has been very efficient, shooting nearly 67 percent within five feet of the hoop and a league-best 52 percent from 20-24 feet away.
The Magic rank #9 in free throw attempts
This is a very important stat because Orlando was one of the worst in this category in each of the last five years. The aggressiveness of Fournier, Gordon, Simmons and D.J. Augustin has really helped this team initiate more contact on drives to the rim. The Magic are also shooting it well from the stripe (83.7 percent).