The Orlando Magic are making modest improvements on what has been an ugly offense so far this season, but there are others things they can do to help.
The Orlando Magic have won their last three games to put themselves at 10-11 and back in the playoff race. They have done so without center Nikola Vucevic, who continues to rehab an ankle sprain. Aaron Gordon, who had a similar but less severe injury, has now returned and has provided a timely boost.
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His season high-32 points in Wednesday’s win over the Phoenix Suns helped power Orlando to victory. This continued a promising trend for the Magic, who have seen themselves rise off the foot of the offensive rating ratings in recent games. They are 24th (104.7) after having alternated between with the New York Knicks in the bottom two spots for much of the season.
They are far from humming on that end, though, and if not for Gordon getting hot against the Suns, or D.J. Augustin putting up a season-high 24 points in the previous victory road win over the Washington Wizards, things could look very different right now. In fact, if Evan Fournier wasn’t having his most consistent, and possibly best, stretch since going to Orlando, their offense would be much uglier.
All of this is great, and shows that the Magic are trending in the right direction at a good time. Just as well, as three of their next four games come against the Milwaukee Bucks (away), Los Angeles Lakers (home) and Houston Rockets (home). Their defense will keep them in those games like it usually does, but continued improved scoring will be what puts them over the top in some of those contests.
Which is why they should be looking at different ways to continue to get the offense going, whatever that means. It would be fair to say that head coach Steve Clifford is conservative in his approach to lineups and rotations, but thinking outside the box could allow the Magic to reach even the league average in this category (108.5).
Given that they are still producing on the defensive end on most nights (105, although this has seen them slip to 11th in this category), having more of a balance between how they play on both ends of the court would lead to more wins and solidifying their playoff push. Here are three routes they can go with this.