Taking Care of Ball is One of Augustin's Key Strengths

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO - D.J. Augustin posted 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists on Friday during the Magic’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Grizzlies.

He also made several big shots, including a game-tying driving layup with 4:18 left in regulation and a go-ahead 10-foot jumper midway through the extra session.

Perhaps most impressive, though, about the 31-year-old’s performance was his zero turnovers, something he has accomplished 17 times this season.

Taking care of the ball has always been a strength of his, as he’s averaged more than two turnovers per game just once in his 11-year career.

Augustin has been especially careful with the ball in fourth quarters, a period he has committed just 15 miscues all season. Among all starting point guards who have appeared in at least 40 fourth quarters, the 6-foot, 183-pounder ranks No. 1 in limiting turnovers in that frame.

This season when he has committed three or more turnovers in a game, the Magic are 4-10. When he has had fewer, Orlando is 31-27.

The Magic, as a team, had only nine turnovers in Friday’s win, a category they rank fifth in the league in. Even better, Orlando turned the ball over just twice after falling behind by 17 in the third quarter.

An argument can certainly be made that Augustin is the NBA’s most underrated point guard. Not only does he secure possessions, he also is a solid playmaker, a very good free throw shooter and an outstanding shooter from beyond the arc, where he is shooting 42.6 percent.

The only players who have started in at least 50 games and have better 3-point percentages than Augustin are Joe Harris, Danny Green, Danilo Gallinari, Buddy Hield and Stephen Curry.

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