Ball movement is the key to the Orlando Magic’s early season success. The Magic have done a terrific job of finding the extra man to create better scoring opportunities for the team. But does the team have reasons to believe Aaron Gordon is not buying into the system?
The Orlando Magic have adjusted their offense to move the ball from one side of the floor to the other. The objective is to keep defenses off balance. At least, that’s the strategy they have used during the absences of Aaron Gordon and guard Elfrid Payton. And it seems to be working.
The Orlando Magic rank fourth in pace (108.1), third in points per game (119), first in three-point percentage (45.5), and second in assists per game (25) in the league. The Magic are finally playing the way Frank Vogel envisioned the offense would this summer.
On Tuesday night after a hard fought home win against the Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Sentinel reporter Josh Robbins had an opportunity to catch up with Magic player Evan Fournier.
“I’m glad that we got the ‘W,’ but there’s a lesson in this game,” Fournier told Robbins after the Brooklyn game.
“We got away from moving the ball today, and we can’t have that. We’re not the type of team that can just iso-ball or just do a pick-and-roll, pick-and-roll, pick-and-roll. Our strength is with body movement and ball movement, and we basically waited three quarters to do that.”
While encouraging as it was to get a win, the Magic may need to proceed with a bit of caution.
Forward Aaron Gordon returned against the Nets and suddenly ball movement stopped flowing as fluidly as previous games. While Gordon posted a career 41 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, at times you could see that flow of the offense stagnating.
Against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando recorded 13 assists on their first 14 made shots. Note that forward Aaron Gordon was not available to play that game due to injury. Everyone understands that Gordon is an essential piece to the Magic puzzle. But the team can not afford to lose momentum — or chemistry — after posting a 3-1 start to the season.
The Magic will have to continue to move the ball and trust in each if they are to continue on their offensive dominance.