Good Decision Making Helps Magic Beat Lakers

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

LOS ANGELES - There's no such thing as a team having too many good decision makers. The Magic are showing that the more of them you have on the floor, the better the ball moves, the more cohesive the team looks and the easier it is to stick to basic fundamentals.

Playmaking is an area where so many of the Magic’s players have improved this season, a big reason why Orlando ranks near the top in total assists and assist percentage.

Demonstrated on Sunday against the Lakers when they overcame an early 12-point deficit and hung on down the stretch with several timely plays on both ends of the floor, the Magic stuck to their core principle of playing fundamentally sound, smart basketball.

With 31 assists in L.A., Orlando has now racked up more than 30 dimes four times this season. The unselfishness of this team throughout the early portion of the year has been extraordinary, and it’s something that must continue if they want to win consistently, especially in hostile environments on the road.

Particularly in the third quarter when they outscored the Lakers 35-19, the Magic’s ball movement and precision was outstanding. They refused to settle for ill-advised shots, instead sharing the ball and finding cutters and wide open spot-up shooters on the perimeter. WATCH:

Along the lines of good decision making and cleverness, quietly the Magic have become one of the best at reducing turnovers. Entering Sunday’s action, they ranked fifth in the league in this category with 13.8 per game, fitting considering they coughed it up 14 times against the Lakers.

Something that goes way too unnoticed about D.J. Augustin, largely because he doesn’t do anything remarkably flashy, is that he commits very few turnovers, 1.1 per game to be precise. The 31-year-old had only one in Sunday’s win, and he kept his team composed when the Lakers rallied late.

It really shouldn’t be a surprise that Orlando ranks high in limiting turnovers, considering Steve Clifford’s teams in Charlotte perennially were among the best in this area during his five seasons as head coach of the Hornets.