Are the Magic Just Hot?
But Orlando has been hitting gobs of threes all season. Are the Magic shooters any "hotter" now than they have been the rest of the year?
Nope. Something marks like me failed to notice in advance of Orlando's mystical destruction of Cleveland was that even though the Magic have hit shots at an unbelievable rate since Game 7 of the Boston series, this isn't entirely without precedent.
To give a visual flavor of just how "hot" Orlando can get, I lined up the team's complete season and postseason three-point percentage marks in chronological order. The turning point for Orlando this postseason is said to be Game 6 of the Boston series (even though Orlando shot poorly from long-range, the Magic won that game and have a 6-2 record since). So I added a trendline indicating a rolling eight-game average of the team's 3P%.
In its last eight games, Orlando has shot 40.7 percent from three. But from December 9 (Game 22) to February 1 (Game 46) -- a 24-game stretch -- the Magic shot 44.3percent. (!!) To be quite honest, this current "hot streak" looks like a plate of beans compared to that span.
This does not dictate that the Magic will, in fact, shoot holes through the L.A. defense. But I hope it offers some perspective on just how well Orlando has shot all season. We shouldn't be surprised the Magic are hitting a great clip from downtown. They have done it before.
(This post is dedicated to Matt Moore, who I should really stop disagreeing with. Except about Rubio.)