Examining the Orlando Magic's offense | Magic Basketball



May 19

Examining the Orlando Magic’s offense

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Via Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post:

Given the dearth of long twos and isolation play, as well as the plentitude of threes and free-throw attempts, it’s almost as though stat geeks found room enough in their parents’ basement to design this offense. Lots of high-efficiency shots, few low-efficiency ones. That much isn’t up for debate.

At issue, though, is this team should have performed better than it did; every Magic fan, I think, would agree with me on that point. And before everyone piles on [Stan Van] Van Gundy, railing against what some folks derisively call this chuck-and-duck scheme, let’s recall an offense with the same principles ranked fourth just one year ago, and helped Orlando to win 59 games.

The principles didn’t change; the players did. Vince Carter, Matt Barnes, Rashard Lewis, Mickael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat, and Jason Williams are all regulars from the 2009/10 squad who departed prior to, or during, the next season.

To me, this all indicates Van Gundy’s offensive style works when equipped with the right personnel. He’s not an offensive genius like, say, Rick Adelman, whose superstar-less Houston Rockets squad had the league’s fourth-best offense this season. Seven Rockets averaged at least two assists per game. Adelman’s offense is more of a “plug-and-play” situation, if you catch my meaning. No matter the personnel, his teams will be brilliant offensively. The same is not true of Van Gundy, whose teams stand out more for their consistently great defense than offense.

For those that want to know more about head coach Stan Van Gundy’s philosophical approaches on offense, this article is a must-read.

Also, the Orlando Magic‘s need for a great one-on-one perimeter scorer remains.


The difference is Adelman took a depleted team without his two stars (Yao, McGrady) to the playoffs and coached his team into a good and very competitive showing. The same cannot be said of the SVG-led Magic recent playoff appereances. Lakers, Boston made the Magic appear as if they didn't belong in the playoffs. Now the Hawks?? For all the importance of defense, if you lack an idea of what a solid offense looks like, and furthermore, cannot adjust, you cannot lead your team to playoff success, much less a championship.

Stats do not tell the whole story. If teams were measured only by the number of wins the Magic should theoretically been worthy of winning the championship and definitely belonged in the finals the past few seasons. In reality, the Magic's execution is near the bottom half of this league.

No coach is perfect, but there's so many obvious flaws in SVG's system to list here. Guys like Ariza, Gortat, Lee, Pietrus aren't here in part because someone wanted everyone to shoot threes. Look where that has gotten us.