These Two Things Have Greatly Contributed to Orlando Magic's Recent Offensive Burst
MEMPHIS – Just based on simple math, the more possessions a team generates and the fewer turnovers they commit will lead to more offensive production. Inevitably when those two things happen, a team will get more shots up while preventing opponents from excelling in transition.
One of the main reasons the Orlando Magic have been so good offensively over their last 11 games is their faster pace of play coupled with their low turnover rate. As long as shots are falling, which for the Magic they have been, scoring numbers will increase. Since Feb. 10, Orlando ranks No. 1 in both points scored (120.8 per game) and field goals made (45.3).
While the Magic have kept their turnovers down all year, a staple of a Steve Clifford-coached team, until recently they had been one of the slower teams in the league. From the start of the season until Feb. 9, Orlando was 28th in pace of play, averaging 98.11 possessions per 48 minutes. Since then, the Magic rank 12th in pace, averaging 101.22 possessions.
Also in this span, the Magic have coughed the ball up just 11.8 times per game, third fewest in the league behind the Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs. Orlando has the NBA’s best assist to turnover ratio during this period.
The addition of James Ennis III, a sneaky good transition player, has made a big impact, particularly when it comes to his team pushing the tempo. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder, acquired by Orlando at the trade deadline from Philadelphia, is averaging 1.87 miles covered in 23 minutes of action per game since joining his new team. That’s quite a lot for someone who plays the amount of minutes he generally does. Just as a comparison, the L.A. Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, the L.A. Clippers’ Reggie Jackson, the New York Knicks’ Maurice Harkless and the Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. are all averaging fewer miles ran per game than Ennis in pretty much the same amount of time on the floor since the Magic’s forward arrived in Orlando.
Aaron Gordon, who has been stuffing stat sheets lately, leads the NBA in miles per game since Feb. 10 among those who have appeared in at least 10 games during this time.