Film Room: Evan Fournier's Performance vs. Heat

By Josh Cohen
Oct. 19, 2017

ORLANDO -- Evan Fournier made good decisions with and without the ball against the Heat. He came off screens really well, used his craftiness and excellent footwork and did an outstanding job breaking down Miami’s defense.

He also was clutch, scoring seven points down the stretch to help Orlando pull away for an opening night victory.

Now in his fourth season with the Magic, Fournier has some James Harden-like movements when he attacks the paint. While he doesn’t absorb or initiate contact like him, have the same kind of extraordinary passing instincts or possess Harden’s unreal ball handling arsenal, Fournier is just as surgical when he weaves his way through the lane.

Here’s a closer look at the two and how they are similar when they drive to the hoop. Watch how well they shield their bodies and protect the ball.

Fournier is still learning how to be a better playmaker and facilitator. Known around the league primarily for his outside shooting and ability to fly around pindown and stagger screens, Fournier is underrated in isolation and in pick-and-roll scenarios.

The key for the Frenchman is to make the right play when the defense collapses on him. Unless he somehow develops a knack for regularly drawing fouls, Fournier can’t afford to play out of control.

His assist to Nikola Vucevic with just under two minutes left in Wednesday’s game is a terrific visual of what he needs to do more often. He recognizes a triple team forming as he bursts into the lane and immediately kicks a pass out to the wide open Vucevic.

It’s also important for Fournier to be more steady on defense. He has the length and quickness to be a factor on that end of the floor. Against Miami, he did a good job closing out on shooters, contesting jumpers and eluding screens. This possession accentuates all three of those things.