Magic Functioning Well With Fultz and Augustin Playing Together

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO – It’s fairly normal these days for teams to have two point guards on the floor at the same time. The Rockets (James Harden and Russell Westbrook), Thunder (Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander), Cavaliers (Darius Garland and Collin Sexton) and Hornets (Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham) essentially all start a pair of point guards. All of those players, in one way or another, are having good seasons, suggesting it can and, in general, does work when there are two floor generals on the court simultaneously.

The Magic, although they don’t start two point guards, have functioned extremely well when Markelle Fultz and D.J. Augustin are playing together.

Orlando’s offensive rating this season is 111.7 and the team is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and a shade over 37 percent from 3-point range when the two are on the court at the same time. Among all of the Magic’s two-man pairings, those are the team’s best marks (minimum 30 appearances together).

It is important to note, however, that the two are averaging just a little under six minutes of playing time together. While that sample size makes it difficult to properly judge, it’s encouraging to know that the Magic’s offense is operating well when Fultz and Augustin are both out there.

Down the stretch of Friday’s win, the Magic were able to pull away from the Heat while both of them were on the court. Orlando closed the game on a 13-4 run after Fultz re-entered with a little under eight minutes left.

In that time, Fultz made a pair of layups and Augustin had two assists – one that led to a Nikola Vucevic hook shot and the other an Aaron Gordon 16-foot jumper.

The Magic were also stifling defensively. The Heat were held to six points during the entire fourth quarter, tied for the fewest points allowed in any quarter in franchise history.

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