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.