The Key Stats That Helped the Magic Qualify for the Playoffs

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO - The Magic have thrived in almost every aspect of the game over the last couple of months, which is why they are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Over the course of their last 30 games, the Magic have climbed up the ladder in multiple statistical categories, particularly in defensive areas. They’ve also been one of the best passing teams in the league, a testament to how unselfish this group is.

Aside from some early season struggles and a short-lived downfall in January, the Magic have actually been solid all year. Although its best basketball has been played throughout the last 65 days or so, Orlando recorded impressive victories before its playoff push truly heated up.

Maybe the most impressive regular season accomplishment was going 11-7 combined against the Eastern Conference’s top five teams. The Magic finished 1-2 against the Bucks, 2-2 against the Raptors, 2-2 against the 76ers, 3-0 against the Celtics and 3-1 against the Pacers.

Orlando also had big wins over several Western Conference powers, including the Warriors, Rockets, Jazz (in Mexico City) and Spurs. Beating the Lakers twice at a time when L.A. was near the top of the standings is also noteworthy.

From Jan. 31 to present time, though, the Magic have been dominant. They are 21-9 during this time and have a chance to post a winning record for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

SINCE JAN. 31, THE MAGIC:

  • Are 21-9 and have the fourth best winning percentage. The Rockets (24-7), Bucks (24-8) and Jazz (20-8) are the only teams with better winning percentages during this stretch. Orlando was 20-31 before Jan. 31.
  • Have the NBA’s best defensive rating (104.3)
  • Rank No. 2 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.17). Only the Celtics rank higher.
  • Possess the league’s best defensive rebounding percentage (76.9)
  • Rank No. 5 in assists (27.3). The Magic have dished out at least 20 assists in 40 straight games.
  • Are limiting opponents to an NBA-low 31.7 percent from 3-point range
  • Have held opponents to an NBA-low 19.4 free throw attempts per game
  • Have limited opponents to 44.3 percent shooting from the field, tied with the Heat for the fourth lowest percentage
  • Are shooting 37.0 percent from 3-point range, tied with the Hawks for eighth best during this stretch
  • Are the only team in the NBA during this time who rank in the top 10 in all four of these categories:
    - Rank No. 1 in opponent second chance points (10.7)
    - Rank No. 2 in opponent fast break points (11.5)
    - Rank No. 3 in opponent points off turnovers (13.3)
    - Rank No. 9 in opponent points in the paint (47.7)

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