With Jason Richardson struggling, it has become very apparent that the Magic are for all practical purposes a two man team right now. Richardson was the second leading scorer in the regular season at 13.9 points per game. Point guard Jameer Nelson was 0.8 points behind Richardson. Richardson is 5 of 20 from the floor and is averaging just 6 points per game through the first two games of the series. He did hit a clutch three in Game 2, but his overall shooting performance was poor.
If Orlando is to be taken seriously a contender, they are going to need J-Rich to score. Hedo Turkoglu is equally at blame right now, but this isn’t about him. Richardson has a silky smooth three point shot that needs to be utilized as much as possible. Part of his struggles are just that, however, that he is so dependent upon the three. Atlanta was the 4th best team in the league at defending the three and Richardson’s looks haven’t been nearly as good as they normally are. The Magic made just 5 of 23 three point attempts and still won the game. If Jason Richardson can manage to get through this series with respectability, he may have his three point shots open up next series against the Bulls. The Bulls will attempt to single cover Howard with Noah, however, so he may not get as many looks as one might imagine.
Either way — the Magic need Richardson to step up. He’s just one of the many under performing Magic players right now, but his potential is higher than the rest.