Friday, March 31 2023

If your team is playing against Orlando lately and you feel confident as they are winning the game in the third quarter – watch out! The Magic are casting their best spells in the final streches of the match, as they are the season’s best performing in the final quarter since December started. 

They might be one of the league’s weakest teams of the campaign, but incredibly no one plays better than the Florida side during the fourth quarter. Since December 1st, the Magic are the only team in the league that has a top five offensive rating and top five defensive rating in the final frame!

During these past 26 games, their offensive rank 3rd best in the league with a 121.1 rating, whereas their defensive is tied at 4th place with a 107.9 rating. Compared to last season, the Magic had a fourth-quarter rating of 110.6 (16th best) and a 111.6 defensive rating (19th in the league).

This just goes to show the impact of coach Jamahl Mosley’s progress so far, as the team decided to give him another chance and trust the process after Orlando finished last in the Eastern Conference after the 2021/22 regular season with a 22-60 record. Today, they are still at the lower end of their conference (13th place) but at least they are already three victories away from reaching the same amount they managed last year.

Magic’s headcoach says it’s all about the transition and energy on the court. “I really think what it is, we are allowing the defense to spark that offense,” Mosley said. “Coming down the stretch, getting stops, being able to get out on the break and get easy baskets. We talk to our guys about that a ton. Getting stops down the stretch, getting three stops in a row in order to get out on the break.”

Another impressive stat is how poorly Orlando has performed over turnovers this campaign, as they rank 23rd in that regard. Nevertheless, this has not been a problem in the last quarter. Ever since December started, they are the team who average less turnovers in the fourth, with only 2.6.

The Magic have become experts at keeping their opponents on the petimeter when defending, as stats prove their rival teams average the second fewest field goal attempts within five feet of the basket. And subsequently as they attack, they average the second most from 25 to 29 feet away with a shot efficiency of 30.4% on those long-range attempts.

You can watch below a perfect example of this winning formula on Orlando’s last game out, as they beat the Indiana Pacers (126-120) with an inspired Paolo Banchero:

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Lately the player who most embodies this amazing fourth-quarter-surge in the Magic camp is german player Franz Wagner, as the 21-year-old is dropping 46.2% on floor shots and 45.5% when trying from behind the arc.

“I think that’s why you play basketball. Those important plays, important moments – but I think to win a game is not just scoring the ball,” Wagner said. “I think you have to do a lot – a lot of small little things as a group.”

Most of our favorite sport betting sites do not consider Orlando to even have possibilities of making it to the conference’s playoffs at this point. Do you believe they still have a chance standing 13th in the East?

Source: Basketball Insider


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