With the The 2022-23 NBA season is approachingThe Orlando Sentinel unveils a five-part series of Orlando Magic stories to keep tabs on training camp, which kicks off Sept. 27 at their new state-of-the-art AdventHealth training center.
Part One: Shooting
To say that shooting away has been a struggle for the Orlando Magic in recent years would be an understatement.
The Magic’s 3-point percentage has been a mark of the last six in each of the previous five seasons except one: 2018-19, the only year Orlando finished with a plus-. 500 record (42-40) since 2011-12.
They just finished consecutive years in the bottom four with 3-point percentage.
The Magic understand the importance of outside shooting in the modern NBA, even if their percentages don’t reflect it.
Coach Jamahl Mosley has repeatedly said that his the offensive philosophy involves playing with rhythm, space and “the pass”.
Orlando demonstrated growth in those areas in the first year under Mosley.
The Magic’s average of 11.8 seconds before shooting last year was an above-average mark (13th) for the first time since the 2017-18 season, according to Inpredictable. Their 284 assists per game ranked 14th.
They even had a slight increase in 3-point attempts, taking 36.9 shots from beyond the arc in 2021-22 after attempting 31.8 in 2020-21.
Orlando’s problem, again, was his accuracy, with his 33.1 percent 3-point percentage the third-worst in the league.
The Magic met their need for exterior filming this offseason — directly and indirectly.
They brought back Gary Harris (38.4% on 3s) and Mo Bamba (38.1%), who were two of the team’s best shooters last year.
The late-season signing of Devin Cannady (40.5% on 3s on 7.4 attempts in five games) and the draft of Caleb Houstan (35.5% 3-point shooter at Michigan) in June should also make the Magic threats from beyond the arc.
Paolo Banchero, the first pick in the June draft, and Markelle Fultz, who returned from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, are the type of dynamic playmakers who should be able to create more paint dabs and to open eyes beyond the arc. .
Easier hits should lead to a higher talk rate.
A problem for Magic is that they also struggled with these easier looks.
Their 36.3% 3-point percentage on “wide open” shots from beyond the arc (closest defender is over 6 feet away) and 30.9% 3-point percentage on “open” shots (the nearest defender is 4 – 6 meters away). ) were both bottom four in the league.
It doesn’t help the Magic that players who took a significant share of those more open 3-point shots were making them at a lower than average rate, likely due to their opponent’s defensive game plan.
Orlando entered the offseason needing better outside shooting and could still do.
But with the Magic already having 16 players signed to standard contracts and needing to reduce rosters to 15 before the start of the regular season, they will have to rely on self-improvement as outside shooters.
How much has been done should become clear at the start of camp.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Prize to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.