Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel has shuffled his point-guard rotation once again, and will continue to start C.J. Watson at the position Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
Vogel initially made the change Thursday night, when he started Watson against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 32-year-old tallied 11 points, four assists, and five turnovers in 28 minutes. Vogel will continue to bring Elfrid Payton off the bench, pairing him with D.J. Augustin in a lineup featuring two point guards.
Orlando’s uninspiring point-guard play has certainly contributed to its disappointing season to date. Through Friday’s games, the Magic’s offense ranks 28th in the league at 100.9 points per 100 possessions, well off the 102.6 mark it posted a year ago. It’s unfair to pin all of that regression on the point guards—after all, they didn’t assemble this roster, bereft of floor-spacers and shot-makers—but the fact that the season-opening third-stringer has taken over the starting role before the All-Star Break indicates something is deeply amiss..
Perhaps Payton will thrive in a reserve role--his True Shooting mark of 53.6 off the bench is acceptable—but the Magic didn’t draft him to be a reserve. Nor did they sign Augustin or Watson to start. In short, Orlando’s point situation is a mess, and one it will need to address over the summer, if not sooner.
The Magic have some measure of stability elsewhere on the roster. Evan Fournier is entrenched as their starting two-guard, and it’s safe to say either Nikola Vucevic or Bismack Biyombo will man the paint for the foreseeable future. Aaron Gordon figures to be in the long-term picture at forward, though whether he’s a three or a four is still unclear. It’s point guard, two-plus years into Payton’s career, which remains the largest question mark for this club.
Were you in Vogel’s seat, how would you handle the Magic’s rotation at point guard, given the trio of lead guards already on the roster?