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Gameplan for Fixing Orlando Magic's Offense Next Season

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Gameplan for Fixing Orlando Magic's Offense Next Season
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The Orlando Magic, who finished the regular season with a league-worst record of 20-62, failed to consistently win games in large part because their deplorable offense revolved around plays the team struggled to execute efficiently.

Let's be honest, after the Orlando Magic completed the 2012-13 season with only 20 wins, there are plenty of areas for the club to improve in.

However, with the young talent the Magic possess, and lack of difference-makers on defense, the team's anemic offense stands to improve the most out of any aspect of their game.

Out of all 30 teams in the NBA, Orlando ranked 24th in points per game, 17th in field goal percentage, 29th in three-point field goal percentage and 29th in points per shot.

Advanced statistics (via espn.com, available to insiders) weren't very encouraging either, with the Magic finishing 21st in offensive rebounding rate, 22nd in true shooting percentage (a field goal percentage which includes free throws and three point shots in addition to two point shots, extended explanation here) and 27th in offensive efficiency (points scored per 100 possessions).

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Aaron Afflalo, a shooting guard for the Magic, was one of the top scorers for the team this past season, but his subpar field goal percentage (43.9 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from three) was one of the reasons the Magic struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor.

In fact, the only reason Orlando wasn't the worst offense in the league was efficient passing, as they placed a respectable 10th in assists per game and 15th in turnovers per game.

So other than continuing to protect the ball, what can the team do to fix its scoring woes?

The answer: improved shot selection and changing up the style of offense.

According to mysynergysports.com, the Magic's five most-frequently used plays were: spot-up shots (used on 21.19 percent of possessions), pick-and-roll (20.97 percent), transition (11.52 percent), post-up (9.65 percent) and cuts to the basket (9.01 percent).

And while these plays are staples to to any team's offense, if they're not getting the job done, adjustments need to be made.

Gary Bogdon/Getty Images
Despite the fact that the Magic only used cuts to the basket on 9.01 percent of their possessions, Orlando’s Tobias Harris scored a highly efficient 1.44 points per possession when the team ran the play to him.

Using points per possession (PPP) as a barometer, Orlando's top-five plays ranked: spot-up shots (0.95 PPP, 18th in the league), pick and roll (0.80 PPP, 27th), transition (1.01 PPP, 30th), post-up (0.82 PPP, 21st) and cuts to the basket (1.21 PPP, 12th) (via mysynergysports.com).

The three criminally underutilized plays that ranked above the league average in points per possession were: handoffs (0.86 PPP, 14th in the league, used on 2.86 percent of possessions), put-backs (1.09 PPP, 13th, 6.53 percent) and cuts to the basket (1.21 PPP, 12th, 9.01 percent).

Looking at this data, it becomes apparent that Orlando spent far too much time calling plays that weren't working.

Obviously, with the inevitable roster changes as players come and go, the team's offensive strategy will shift, but it's clear the Magic need to drive the ball to the rim more often. If the coaching staff makes this change, while simultaneously focusing on increasing their efficiency in the pick and roll (an essential component to attacking the basket), Orlando's offense will improve dramatically.

 

All the statistics used in this article are used courtesy of ESPN.com and mysynergysports.com.

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