Augustin Ranks No. 1 Among Starting PGs In Important Category

by Josh Cohen

PHOENIX - Among all regular starting point guards, D.J. Augustin ranks No. 1 in the league in fewest turnovers per game.

Perhaps that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering Steve Clifford’s teams in Charlotte always excelled at minimizing mistakes the last five seasons and because the 11-year NBA veteran has always been an orderly and disciplined playmaker throughout his career.

Yet, it’s still rather noteworthy, especially when you consider the fact that many of today’s elite point guards – James Harden, Russell Westbrook, John Wall and Chris Paul for example – are all averaging significantly more miscues per game.

Augustin, who has averaged fewer than two turnovers in all but one season so far during his career, didn’t commit any in Wednesday’s game in Portland, even though his team coughed it up a few times down the stretch.

In the 22 games he’s appeared in so far this year, the 31-year-old has committed two or more turnovers just eight times.

He’s a big reason why the Magic rank sixth in the NBA in assists, too. The New Orleans native, who has averaged better than five assists just twice in his career, is on pace to have his highest assists total since his third NBA season when he dished out 498 of them for the Bobcats in 2010-11.

The chemistry he has with Nikola Vucevic, who has been on a tear lately scoring 20 points or more in six of his last eight games, is also striking. Of Vucevic’s 187 made shots to this point of the season, 43 were assisted by Augustin – some through pick-and-roll plays, others off kick-out passes and several by way of interior feeds.

The floor general’s 3-point shooting has been outstanding, too. He’s shooting 44.4 percent from downtown, which ranks No. 1 among point guards who have started in at least 20 games so far. This also isn't much of a surprise considering Augustin ranked third in 3-point percentage after the All-Star break last season among all players who attempted at least 100 attempts from long distance during that time.

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