At 6-2 to start the season, fans are feeling the Magic so far in Orlando as the team sits atop the Eastern Conference standings. Although the Magic have only played eight games thus far, they have had some very impressive victories, beating the Cavs (113-94), Spurs (114-87), and the Grizzlies (101-99).
Much of the team’s newfound success is due to their elevated 3-point percentage and subsequential ability to space the floor better than the previous season. The Magic have turned a weakness into strength, elevating last year’s 32 percent from deep to a scorching 44 percent so far. These magical numbers will likely drop over time and the Disney logo on their uniforms does not guarantee a happy ending as far as the playoffs are concerned. However, it is time for you sleeping beauties to stop snoozing on the Magic…
The Magic have the second highest offensive rating in the NBA at 112.2 with three players averaging 20 or more points per game, Evan Fournier (22), Aaron Gordon (21), and Nikola Vucevic (20). Each player’s 3-point percentage has risen substantially since last season.
|3-point percentage||2016-17||2017 through first eight games|
Nikola Vuecevic has quietly been one of the league’s most underrated centers over the past few seasons. The son of two professional Serbian basketball players, Vucevic brings the classic European big man style of play on a nightly basis. Last season, Vucevic had the fifth-best assist/turnover ratio last season despite his team’s struggles.
Vucevic, who recently turned 27 is the anchor for the young magic team and is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves. In a depleted Eastern Conference, the Serbian Center may even be able to play his way into the All-Star game if he and his team can stay healthy and hot.
Another man stepping up in a big way is Aaron Gordon who took a gamble on himself this offseason by taking a one-year deal to stay in Orlando. Gordon’s rebounding numbers have sky-rocketed like his points per game and 3-point percentage, jumping from five rebounds per game last season to nine so far this year. If he is able to keep that production, Aaron Gordon will be in consideration for a max contract. The 22-year-old high flyer who was compared to Blake Griffin coming out of Arizona is certainly beginning to live up to the hype so far in his fourth year.
Maybe it is that Disney logo, that has the Magic off to their fairytale start and maybe the magic will soon wear off in Orlando. For now, you better look the hell out because these dudes are gonna let it fly from 3 and dunk on your goofy ass all night if they aren’t taken seriously.