O'Quinn flashes range
After surprising everyone by knocking down the first three-pointer of his career in the Magic's win against Flamengo on Wednesday, Kyle O'Quinn continued to impress Friday, knocking down two treys against the Pistons in the opening quarter. For his career, O'Quinn is now 3-of-7 from deep, and the addition could be a huge boost not only to his game, but the team as a whole.
Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn was very complimentary of O'Quinn when asked about him post game, raving about how he loves the game despite getting a later start in it than most. Vaughn also said he felt as though the game is continuing to slow down for the big man from Norfolk State, which is allowing him to be more comfortable as well. Vaughn concluded his comments by saying, "I think he's excited about getting better and contributing to the team."
O'Quinn said he worked on his three-point shooting from "time-to-time" over the summer, and that it's just something to add to his workout. "Coach has given me that confidence, just being on my back [and] letting me know it's okay to shoot it. Shoot it when it's a good shot. You can't work on nothing and do it if you don't have that trust with the coach behind it. He trusts I can do it [and] I'm gonna do it."
Not only will it add another dimension to his game, it could open things up more for the offense, and playing time for himself and Nik Vučević together. "It can open up a lot of things [offensively]," said O'Quinn. "Number one, me and Vuč might see some more minutes together, we won't just clog the paint. He's a better finisher in the paint, better post up player, so to let him have the paint is probably to our advantage and it may give me a couple more minutes because I'm not sitting on top of him crowding his space. I can space out, I guess, and help the spacing of the team."
Adding the three-pointer seems like a no-brainer for O'Quinn, and something that he could use very effectively. The key for him will be using when the time is right, and not relying on it and getting away from the other facets of his game which have allowed him to grow into the player that he is today.
After turning the ball over 45 times in their first three preseason games combined, the Magic have seen some issues in their last two trips to the court. In those contests, the team has turned the ball over 45 times, leading to 53 points for their opponents.
While Vaughn was happy with the team's 25 assists on Friday night, the turnovers were still something he noted. "The turnovers are something we'll continue to address, and correct" he said. "A lot of them are self-inflicted, so we can take care of some of those things. For our guys to play through the turnovers is a pretty good sign."
It's the preseason, and the team is trying to incorporate eight new guys, so building that chemistry and learning what tendencies players have and where they might be on certain plays will come as time wears on. That being said, for a team that ranked 19th last season with just under 15 turnovers per game, it's still somewhat troubling.