The Orlando Magic are essentially just where most of us thought they’d be at this point in the season. They’ve kept a few games competitive, but ultimately they are showing their true colors as a franchise in complete rebuilding mode — and that’s OK. But, there’s a fine line between rebuilding and tanking. The Magic are flirting with that line.
On a team with very few standouts, one of the guys having a phenomenal year thus far has been starting shooting guard Arron Afflalo. With the team drafting Victor Oladipo with the second overall pick in 2013’s draft, Afflalo has asserted himself as a guy that the Magic will have to trade if they want his spot taken.
Afflalo has season averages of 21.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists. The impressive part, though, has been how well he’s shot the ball — 48.2 percent overall while taking an average of over 15 shots per game. Afflalo is shooting the ball so well, specifically from beyond the arc, that he is good for 2nd in the league in three point shooting (minimum 50 attempts) at 50.7 percent, trailing only Kyle Korver.
The tough part for Orlando has been getting other guards to step up this year. Even Oladipo has struggled, which is just fine as he’s a rookie that will continue to learn. But, between Jameer Nelson and E’Twaun Moore, guard play — specifically at the point — has been mediocre at best.
Nelson is averaging just about 12 points per game, but turning the ball over three times versus six assists each night. On the year, his PER is sitting at a measly 12.5. But, I’m not sure I would expect anything different out of a guy who’s way past his best playing years and likely on his way out of Orlando soon.
Moore, on the other hand, has shot the ball very well — over 48 percent — but that’s on less than six attempts per game, thus his averaging just under seven points each contest. He’s also struggled in getting his teammates involved, averaging just 1.4 assists per game.
As you can see, beyond Afflalo, the Magic have had pretty poor guard play all around. Whether it’s the guys giving up already and doing what everyone else seems to be doing in the Eastern Conference and tanking, or they’re just that plain awful, I’m not sure. What I do know, is that with guard play like this the Magic aren’t going anywhere in the near future.