Evan Fournier's Strengths & Top Performances in 2019-20 Before Hiatus

by Josh Cohen

Shot-Making

Coming into the season, many felt Evan Fournier would have a good year shooting the ball because of how well he performed in the FIBA World Cup last summer for his national team. That prediction turned out to be true as the 6-foot-7 Frenchman shot 47 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range before the hiatus, his best marks since his rookie NBA season.

The statistic that stood out the most was his 53.4 percent shooting from between 20 and 24 feet away from the basket. Among all players who attempted at least 80 shots from this range, that was the best mark. In fact, Fournier, the Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love and the Dallas Mavericks’ Seth Curry were the only players to shoot 50 percent or better from this distance with at least 100 tries.

Last season, the Orlando Magic veteran only made 39.1 percent of his attempts from 20 to 24 feet out.

Corner 3-Point Shooting

Playing alongside several players who excel getting into the paint – notably Markelle Fultz, D.J. Augustin and Aaron Gordon – helps Fournier get clean looks from beyond the arc when they break down the defense off the dribble. The league’s best 3-point shooting teams consistently make their corner threes and Fournier, specifically, has helped Orlando rise in this category. From the left side, the 27-year-old shot 54.9 percent prior to the league's stoppage, while on the right – with far fewer attempts – he drilled 41.7 percent of them.

Drives

Very few players in the entire league have better footwork than Fournier. James Harden, Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan are probably the three best when it comes to footwork. Fournier might be next. Having such good footwork helps the 205-pounder elude defenders when he attacks the basket. Getting all the way to the rim is something he makes look really easy. He averaged nearly nine drives to the hoop per game, making 50.4 percent of his driving shot attempts.

Top 5 Performances

#5 Feb. 26 at Hawks

Fournier got hot at the right time in Atlanta, scoring 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to help the Magic pull away from the Hawks. Orlando outscored Atlanta by a team-best 13 when he was on the court.

#4 Dec. 3 at Wizards

The Magic won all four games against the Wizards this season. In one of those games – a 127-120 victory in the nation’s capital – Fournier erupted for 31 points and buried six of his eight 3-point attempts.

#3 Jan. 13 at Kings

Aside from his 25 points and 12-of-12 shooting from the free throw line, Fournier dished out the game-winning assist to Aaron Gordon, who connected on an AND-1 in the closing seconds. Sacramento had erased a seven-point deficit with a little over a minute left before Gordon’s clutch basket.

#2 Jan. 20 at Hornets

In the final contest of a long six-game road trip, which wrapped up in Charlotte after the first five games were on the West Coast, Fournier delivered a spectacular performance with 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting. The Magic outscored the Hornets by 34 when he was on the floor.

#1 Dec. 1 vs. Warriors

Fournier matched his career high with 32 points and connected on a crucial layup in the final seconds to help Orlando pull out the win over the Golden State Warriors. This was also one of the six games he drilled six 3-pointers in.

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