Orlando Magic Enter New Season with Their Most Potent Three-Point Attack Yet

ATLANTA - MAY 08: Rashard Lewis #9 of the Orlando Magic shoots a wide-open three-point basket against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 8, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Orlando Magic have drawn attention for their three-point-oriented offense under head coach Stan Van Gundy since he took over in 2007, and for good reason. The Magic love the three-ball and have made it a staple of their offense, setting an NBA record for three-pointers made in a single season in their most recent campaign, while ranking third in three-point accuracy. The high-volume, high-percentage attack seems to work well. And it appears to have gotten more potent this offseason.

Orlando split its mid-level exception on point guard Chris Duhon and small forward Quentin Richardson, who will replace Jason Williams and Matt Barnes, respectively, in the coming seasons. In this way, the Magic have replaced two poor three-point shooters with two above-average ones. Prior to last season, Barnes shot 33.2% from beyond the arc in his career, while Williams connected on 32.5% of his triple tries. Their replacements are considerably more accurate, and give the Magic two rotation players at four positions who have shot between 35.9% and 39.2% for their careers, which we can illustrate in this way:

2010/2011 Orlando Magic Rotation
Starters
PG SG SF PF C
Jameer Nelson
38.7% 3FGs
Vince
Carter
37.5% 3FGs
Quentin
Richardson
35.9%
3FGs
Rashard Lewis
39.2%
3FGs
Dwight Howard
5.3%
3FGs
Reserves
Chris Duhon
36.2% 3FGs
J.J.
Redick
39.2% 3FGs
Mickael
Pietrus
35.9%
3FGs
Ryan Anderson
36.8%
3FGs
Marcin Gortat
25.0% 3FGs
Deep Bench
Brandon Bass
0.0%
3FGs
Daniel Orton
Rookie
Positional Total
37.3% 3FGs 37.8% 3FGs 35.9%
3FGs
38.9%
3FGs
8.7%
3FGs

The Magic are now better equipped to spread the floor for Dwight Howard. About the only man you'd feel OK doubling off of is Duhon, whose inaccuracy on two-pointers hurts his overall reputation as a shooter, but whose three-point marksmanship is better than league average, which was 35.5% last year. Pietrus and Richardson, the other weak links, shot better than their career averages last year, with Richardson setting a career-high at 39.7% accuracy from long distance.

If you've got the personnel to play Howard straight-up, count yourself lucky. If not? Good luck finding a defensive scheme that can eliminate him while still putting pressure on the Magic's newfound stable of three-point bombers.

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