Most Improved Orlando Magic Players This Season
While Orlando hasn’t improved this season as much as fans would like to see, it does have some improving players.
There are five guys who have been improving this season, and they give the Magic a better outlook for the future.
I considered season averages compared to career averages, as well as points per game averages in each month for this list. Minutes per game averages were also used in the rankings, as well as guys passing the eyeball test regarding improvement.
Honorable Mention: Kyle O'Quinn
Kyle O’Quinn is an honorable mention because his scoring stats are still not as high as other players on this list.
The departure of Glen Davis has resulted in increased minutes for a few guys, and O’Quinn is one of them. In March, he averaged 21.9 minutes per game, which was his highest this season.
March was also his best month in terms of scoring, averaging 8.6 points per game last month. He has taken advantage of the increased minutes and has been a solid improvement for this Magic team.
5. Maurice Harkless
Maurice Harkless isn’t a big-time scorer, but he has been improving in that area. He averaged 9.5 points per game in March, which was his highest total of any month.
He hasn’t shown a drastic improvement defensively from last season to this season, but he is still a pretty good defender. He currently has 93 steals this season.
Harkless has been given the opportunity to start quite a bit and has seen his minutes go up lately; he averaged 32.6 minutes per game in March.
He checks in at the last spot on here because I would like to see more improvement on the defensive end.
4. Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo has been sensational in his rookie season and has continued to improve throughout the year.
His points per game had an increase in January and has been pretty steady since that point. Oladipo has improved defensively during the season, and his mistakes have gone down.
He averaged 4.1 turnovers per game in November, but that number hasn’t reached four since then. This shows the improvement in maturity and Oladipo getting more comfortable and accustomed to the NBA game.
3. Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic has clearly shown his improvement this season. The big man recently had his two best months scoring in February and March, averaging 15.8 points per game in both of those frames.
For his three-year career, he averages 11.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. This season, the center has gone up in both categories, averaging 14.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
He continues to improve his game and should play a big role in the lineup next season.
2. Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris has been phenomenal the past couple of seasons for Orlando. For his career, he averages 10.8 points per game, and this season, that number is up to 15.0 points per game.
Harris has been scoring more as the season has gone on, and like others on this list, his highest points per game average in a month came last month with 16.9 points per game.
He has provided the Magic with a solid bench option and has also started some games for the team. In my opinion, he should be a full-time starter, but his numbers haven’t taken a hit because of the bench role.
1. Arron Afflalo
Arron Afflalo is in the midst of a career year in two major categories: points per game and three-point percentage.
An 11.1 points per game total for his career is a fairly decent number, but this season, he shattered that total working his way up to 18.5 points per game.
He has attempted 47 more three-pointers this season, and the increased shot attempts has proven to be successful for him. Last season in 64 games, the guard shot 30 percent from behind the line. This season, he has improved that statistic to 42.5 percent.
His assists per game (3.5) is also a career high, and the rebounds per game (3.7) is tied with last season for a career high.
Even though he may not be the most dominant scorer, he has improved his three-point stroke and given this Magic team a boost in offensive production.