Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

News

Magic finding success in the paint but take a step back in loss to Mavericks – Boston Herald

[ad_1]

It’s still early in the season, but the Orlando Magic are having greater success scoring in the paint compared to last season.

This was a key for them in Sunday’s 114-105 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks, one of the league’s worst teams at protecting the rim.

Entering Sunday, the Magic were shooting 71.4% in the paint — the league’s second-best mark only behind the Minnesota Timberwolves (75.5%) and a significant jump from the 64.2% they shot inside the paint last season.

Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 pick in June’s draft who entered Sunday averaging 23.5 points on 46.5% shooting (51.3% on 2s, 32% on 3s), 8.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 blocks in 33.3 minutes (six games), is a significant reason for the uptick in paint efficiency.

His 11.5 drives per game led the team and he was shooting 63.6% inside the paint. Franz Wagner (61.5% shooting inside the paint) and Wendell Carter Jr. (75%) have also been more efficient scoring in the paint while Bol Bol (92.3% shooting inside the paint on 2.2 attempts) has been a difference-maker.

The Magic did a good job at attacking inside early against Dallas, not only finishing the first quarter with 14 points in the paint (7-of-10 shooting) but also getting the necessary paint touches to create open 3-pointers off drives and kicks. They made their first four 3-pointers, helping them take a 34-29 lead at the end of the first.

But the Mavericks (3-3) adjusted as the game went on and the Magic found it more challenging to create those paint touches that lead to spray-out 3-pointers.

Orlando finished with 44 points in the paint on 22-of-35 shooting but only took 29 3-pointers, their second-fewest in a game this season so far, making 11 (37.9%).

A big step for the Magic (1-6) will be a higher volume of paint touches (18.8 per game for No. 27) and field goal attempts (11.7 for No. 25). They were in the bottom six in both categories entering Sunday.

“We’ve talked about that day from Day One — our ability to finish at the rim and get to the rim because it causes so many different problems,” coach Jamahl Mosley said pregame. “Obviously, paint touches are key. Attacking the rim whether that’s finishing, getting to the free throw line or kicking the ball out for feet-set 3s.”

Banchero led the Magic with 18 points but went 6 of 20 from the field. His streak of consecutive 20-point games to start his career ended at six, tying Grant Hill, Dominique Wilkins and Oscar Robertson for the third-most in NBA history.

Wagner also struggled, finishing with 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Both Banchero and Wagner had 4 assists.

Carter had 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists while Bol had 16 points (7 of 10) and 11 rebounds for the first double-double of his career to go with 3 blocks.

R.J. Hampton led the bench with 15 points (6-of-9 shooting, 3 of 4 on 3s), 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Kevon Harris added 12 points (3-of-4 shooting, 2 of 3 on 3s) and 3 rebounds off the bench.

The Magic once again started with the jumbo lineup of Wagner, Banchero, Bol, Carter and Terrence Ross because of injuries to several players: Cole Anthony (right internal oblique muscle injury), Markelle Fultz (fractured left big toe), Gary Harris (left knee injury recovery) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery), Jalen Suggs (sprained right ankle) and Moe Wagner (sprained right midfoot) remain sidelined.

Sunday was the Magic’s first time matching up against Luka Dončić, who entered the game with averages of 35.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 9.4 assists and 1.8 steals.

Dončić scored 30 first-half points to keep the Mavericks in the game, finishing with 44 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in 37 minutes.

Mosley coached Dončić for three seasons (2018-21) while he was an assistant with the Mavericks.

“His poise is still there,” Mosley said of Dončić. “His ability to lead these guys is great. You can see him using his voice a ton more with these guys. Obviously, he just does such a dynamic job of putting guys in positions to be successful and make shots.

“You can’t give him the same doses of everything. By the first quarter, he’s playing a game of chess — deciding what coverages you’re in, how you’re doing it, what you’re doing. you have to keep it mixed up.”

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

()



[ad_2]

Source link