FanPost

The importance of the 4

As we all know, the Magic typically run with a 1-in 4-out strategy.  One of the cornerstones of that plan last season was Rashard Lewis, who shot just over seven 3pt fg's per game last season, making almost 40% of them.  Obviously Lewis hasn't been available yet due to his suspension.  

In Lewis's absence, Ryan Anderson essentially proved himself to be Rashard-lite (at a minimum).  He's managed to do many of the same things that Lewis has done, at least on the offensive end.  The Magic's overall success has seemed to mirror the play of Anderson.  Take a look at the numbers.

Game 1:  Anderson 4-7 3pm-a, 16 points - Magic score 120 and win

Game 2:  Anderson 2-5 3pm-a, 16 points - Magic score 95 and win

Game 3:  Anderson 5-8 3pm-a, 20 points, Magic score 125 and win

Game 4:  Anderson 1-11 3pm-a, 7 points, Magic score 80 and lose

Game 5:  Anderson 3-3 3pm-a, 20 points, Magic score 122 and win

Game 6:  Anderson 2-5 3pm-a, 11 points, Magic score 110 and win (Anderson injured in 3rd quarter)

Game 7:  Anderson out w/ injury, Magic score 74 and lose (ugly loss)

Game 8:  Anderson out w/ injury, Magic score 93 and win (ugly win)

Game 9:  Anderson out w/ injury, Magic score 93 and lose (ugly loss)

 

There's a definite correlation between Anderson playing well, and the Magic putting lots of points on the board and winning.  The one game Anderson played poorly, the Magic's point total fell off significantly and the team lost.  Once Anderson went down with his injury, the team point total has dropped off noticeably, and we've seen two very ugly losses and one ugly win.

There would seem to be a definite trend.  The Magic seem to play much better overall with a long-range shooting PF in the game than they do without.  Certainly its a no-brainer that a team should play worse when without a player, but the difference between having Lewis and/or Anderson is very pronounced.  Thats not intended as a knock on Brandon Bass, as he's shown he's a good and hard working player.  This is more about Orlando's offensive system, and whats needed for it to be successful.  

Fortunately for the Magic, Lewis and Anderson will both be back very soon.

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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