Assessing How Vince Carter Will Fit In With The Orlando Magic Offense

The pick & roll.

For the Orlando Magic, it's one of the team's "money" plays and its effectiveness was seen at its apex against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, as the Magic ran a pick & roll tour de force versus the Cavaliers and advanced to the 2009 NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history. 

 

For Hedo Turkoglu, he was seen as a vital piece in the pick & roll machine, not only in that series but throughout the 2008-2009 season. The 3/5 pick & roll with Turkoglu and Dwight Howard was devastatingly effective because of the diversity in the end result. Either the play was designed for Turkoglu, Howard, or someone else. 

 

It was poetry in motion, when ran correctly. 

 

Now, with Turkoglu gone and Vince Carter here, one question being posed is - will the change in personnel affect the pick & roll game for Orlando?

 

Well, let's take a look at the data.

 

Here are the pick & roll numbers for Carter and Turkoglu this past season (via Synergy Sports Technology):

 

Vince Carter:
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Single (18.11% of his offense)
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Double (15.7% of his offense)

Hedo Turkoglu:
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Single (25.76% of his offense)
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Double (15.7% of his offense)

 

The statistics affirm what has already been stated - nearly half of Turkoglu's play involvement came out of the pick & roll. For Carter, it was a third of the time. Nevertheless, it's clear that Carter can take the reigns from Turkoglu and handle the pick & roll game for the Magic. Don't forget about Jameer Nelson either because he will assume a good portion of the responsibilities, again, in the offense. 

 

The stats shown above indicate how often Carter and Turkoglu ran the pick & roll. The next group of numbers reveal how effective Carter and Turkoglu were in the pick & roll. 

 

Vince Carter:
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Single: points/possession (0.98)
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Doubled: points/possession (0.27)

Hedo Turkoglu:
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Single: points/possession (0.91)
Pick and Roll Ball Handler/Doubled: points/possession (0.31)

 

The statistics are nearly identical for both players. For those that believe Orlando's pick & roll game will be worse off with Carter, the stats indicate otherwise. There appears to be no evidence to suggest that will be the case. Carter's efficiency in the pick & roll is "Very Good," whereas Turkoglu's efficiency is "Good" (when compared to the rest of the NBA).

 

In addition, it should be increasingly obvious by now that the Magic are upgrading offensively, when comparing Turkoglu to Carter. Turkoglu is a special player with a unique, albeit inefficient, skill-set but it doesn't change the fact that Carter is superior in practically every facet of the game on offense. Carter is a better passer, a more efficient shooter, etc. 

 

If those numbers don't tell it all, it should be noted that Carter is a better spot-up shooter than Turkoglu. That is important to point out because of Orlando's reliance on spot-up shooting (roughly 30% of the offense this past season).  

 

Vince Carter:
Spot Up (14.22% of his offense): points/possession (1.21)

Hedo Turkoglu:
Spot Up (21.62% of his offense): points/possession (1.09)

 

Turkoglu's number is "Very Good" but Carter's number is "Excellent." 

 

What else needs to be said? Orlando Magic fans concerned that the team may miss a beat on offense withTurkoglu and Carter switching teams don't need to be. Carter is a complete upgrade over Turkoglu, offensively. 

 

Defensively, that's a different story but nevertheless, Carter appears he will fit in with the team just fine. 

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