By Josh Cohen
Oct. 3, 2017
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic shot just 36.4 percent from the field in Monday’s preseason game in Memphis. Obviously, that’s not an ideal percentage for any team.
However, what was impressive was the number of assists they accumulated in relation to how many shots they made. The Magic totaled 26 assists, which is fairly remarkable considering they connected on just 32 shots (81 percent). Last season, 58 percent of the Magic’s made buckets were assisted.
It helps that the core of this team have been together for a while and that all five starters are very familiar with one another. There was one play, specifically, that really stood out and exemplified optimum team chemistry.
It happened around the four-minute mark of the second quarter. All five Magic players touched the ball and the unselfishness that ensued was something that led the entire bench to stand up and applaud.
Evan Fournier whipped a cross-court pass to Elfrid Payton who deliberately waited for a defender to close out on him. Then, Payton swung it to Terrence Ross and it became textbook offense from there. Ross kicked it over to Aaron Gordon, who drove, avoided the charge and dropped it off to Nikola Vucevic for the dunk. WATCH:
It was encouraging that it wasn’t just one guy facilitating. Fournier had five assists, Payton dished out four and Jonathon Simmons, D.J. Augustin and Wes Iwundu each racked up three dimes.
All of this selflessness helped set up several highlight plays. The Magic tallied 10 dunks and nine of them came assisted. They had four alley-oop jams as well.
Here’s a look at how many shots some of the Magic’s players made and then how many different teammates assisted on those buckets.