With the cancellation of their game against the Miami Heat last night, the Orlando Magic have officially finished their preseason schedule. As we did at the preseason's halfway mark, here's a look at some per-game, per-minute, and advanced stats for each player on the team. We'll go into greater depth, which includes attending to the effectiveness of various lineups and some Synergy Sports Technology data, a bit later in the week. First, the traditional, per-game stats for everyone on the team, including the departed Stanley Robinson. As with the first go-round, team leaders are shaded.
The identities of the leaders from the midway mark didn't change here, but their numbers did. Vince Carter's play never really came back down from the stratosphere, although I do think his pedestrian rebounding and passing stats might be cause for concern.
Points to note here? Brandon Bass overtaking Ryan Anderson for second on the team in per-minute rebounding, and that Marcin Gortat ranks just fourth, really stand out. If I had told you coming into camp that two reserve Magic bigs would post double-double averages per 36 minutes, there's a 100 percent chance you would have named Gortat as one of them, right? 6-foot-10 forwards Malik Allen and Rashard Lewis are averaging a rebound once every 18 and 9 minutes, respectively, which makes them liabilities in certain lineups. Jameer Nelson has become an assist machine, while the adjustment period for newcomer Chris Duhon, Nelson's backup, is readily apparent in his alarming turnover numbers.
As a team, the turnovers are alarming. J.J. Redick, usually mistake-free, averaged almost one every 12 minutes. Coach Stan Van Gundy talked all preseason about his concern with his team's inability to pass and catch the ball, and that concern is quite clearly grounded in reality. Those numbers won't get it done when the games start to count.
Richardson's strong all-around line is encouraging. He won't average 36 minutes here, but I do think he's shown he can contribute meaningfully beyond his three-point shooting. Which brings us to, fittingly enough, the shooting stats:
Anderson and J.J. Redick managed to find their strokes over their final three games, but Mickael Pietrus and Duhon are still missing theirs. Duhon can run exceptionally cold for months on end--in 461 minutes last November, he shot a sub-freezing 28.3 percent from the field--so that much isn't surprising. But Pietrus needs to regain his touch, which won't be easy, given the sore thumb on his shooting hand. It wouldn't surprise me if Van Gundy kept Pietrus' minutes down in the season's early going in order to play Quentin Richardson and Lewis more at small forward.
Meanwhile, seven of the Magic's 12 guys posted True Shooting marks over 60, helping Orlando nearly reach that threshold as a team.
Which of the stats presented above, in any of the tables, makes you the most optimistic? Which ones concern you? Let's hear it.
And again, I'll delve more deeply into the Magic's preseason performance in the days ahead.