8 Reasons the Orlando Magic Are Better 3-Point Shooting Team Lately
ORLANDO - Over their last four games, the Orlando Magic have shot 44.1 percent from 3-point range, second best in the league during this stretch. On Monday, they drilled a season-most 19 threes. It was only the fourth time in franchise history they made at least that many. They have also now knocked down at least 15 triples in three straight contests, a streak they had never accomplished before.
#8 Paint Touches
No pass in the NBA is more important than the kickout pass, which tends to generate open looks from 3-point range when the play is executed properly. Over their last four games, the Magic rank 11th in paint touches, but more importantly, they have a pass percentage rate of 34.4 percent when the ball touches the paint, second highest in the league during this stretch.
#7 Less Hesitation
It’s just a statistical fact that shooting off the catch is better than shooting off the dribble. In the last four games, the Magic have shot 44.2 percent on 32.3 catch-and-shoot tries per contest. Prior to this stretch, they shot 36.3 percent on 27.9 attempts.
#6 Dwayne Bacon More Potent Off Bench
Getting Evan Fournier back also meant giving Bacon a more suitable role. Now, the Magic’s offseason signee is able to go to work against second units and showcase his offensive creativity. Especially while playing alongside Terrence Ross, who draws so much attention, Bacon has more space to operate.
#5 Fournier’s Return
Obviously, it helps when you get one of your best 3-point shooters back in the lineup. After missing nine games with back spasms, Fournier returned for the Minnesota win and has shot 42.4 percent from beyond the arc during this latest four-game stretch.
#4 Magic Taking and Making More Corner Threes
After layups and free throws, the next best shot in the NBA is the corner 3-pointer, where teams generally shoot their highest percentages from distance. In their first 14 games, the Magic ranked last in corner 3-point attempts and shot just 27.5 percent on the ones they took. In the last four games, they rank 13th and have shot 33.3 percent.
#3 Cole Anthony More Efficient
For Anthony to blossom into an elite NBA scorer, he’s going to have to be more meticulous with his shot selection, and lately, he has done that. Over these last four games, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound rookie has made 10 of his 13 tries from downtown, which includes the game winner at the buzzer against the Timberwolves.
#2 Nikola Vucevic Best 3-Point Shooting Big Man
There were hints made during training camp that Vucevic would be an improved long-range shooter this season. But, nobody could have foreseen this level of progression. Through 18 games, Orlando’s starting center is shooting 43.5 percent from deep. Proof this is incredible, never in the history of the league has a center for an entire season shot at least 42 percent from 3-point land with an average of five or more attempts per game.
#1 Ball Movement is Better
We knew it was going to take time for the Magic to adjust without Markelle Fultz, who tore his ACL in his left knee earlier in the season. But credit to the Magic for adapting rather quickly. During this four-game stretch, the Magic are averaging 28.3 dimes, second most in the league.