ORLANDO - Emphasized after Saturday’s win over the Lakers was the Magic’s ball movement, which has been outstanding and is a big reason why they have won seven of their last nine games.
The Magic amassed a season-high 35 dimes during Sunday’s victory over the Knicks, which is their highest assist total since dishing out 39 of them on Dec. 9, 2017 against the Hawks.
Something else that has been extraordinary – and certainly connected to their sharp passing and team selflessness – is Orlando’s scorching hot 3-point shooting.
The Magic made 13 of their 32 attempts from beyond the arc on Sunday, extending their double digit made threes streak to six games.
Even more amazing, especially considering they ranked toward the bottom in this category earlier in the season, is how accurate the Magic have been from long distance.
Since Nov. 4, which was when the Magic went into San Antonio and defeated the Spurs, Orlando ranks No. 1 in the league in 3-point percentage (39.2). Over the last six games, the Magic have shot 41.5 percent from downtown.
The floor spacing has been superb – a credit to the team’s organization, discipline and execution.
During training camp and the preseason, Steve Clifford accentuated the importance of “paint touches,” which helps create open 3-point looks. No matter the play type – drives, post-up, pick-and-roll, off-screen – “paint touches” often lead to unguarded shots from the outside.
Orlando’s starting lineup, in particular, had it cooking all night from 3-point land, collectively making 10 of their 17 attempts. Aaron Gordon was hot early, drilling 3-of-4 from deep in the first quarter and 4-of-8 for the game.
Nikola Vucevic, who finished one assist shy of a triple-double, Evan Fournier and D.J. Augustin knocked down two threes each. Augustin and Vucevic each rank in the top 30 in the league in 3-point percentage.