Sunday, March 25, 2012
2011-2012 Magic Player Statistical Trends
We're a month away from the playoffs. TNT is already reminding me with their NBA postseason commercials. Go figure. That's good enough of a reason to finally gauge what certain players need to do in order to increase Orlando's chances of making a deep run in this postseason. Stan Van Gundy's and Otis Smith's jobs are on the line potentially. If you believe the rumors, it'd basically take a trophy hoisting for 'Mr. Mumble' to keep his GM position. Statistics fuel and trigger a lot of decisions now-a-days. A lot of numbers crunching and analysis occurs when it comes to viewing what player and lineups deserve more touches and minutes. Some numbers are fluky, but others may truly surprise you.
Going into Monday's matchup in Toronto, the 31-18 Magic are 8-3 when DeAndre Liggins sees the court, 7-2 when Ish Smith touches the parquet, and 4-1 when Daniel Orton gets minutes. SVG's squad is 3-0 when Earl Clark scores 6 or more points.
Orlando is 17-2 when Hedo Turkoglu records 5 or more assists in a game. The win-loss situation is 11-15 when Hedo records 4 assists or fewer, and a just as bad 6-11 when Turk dishes out 3 dimes or fewer. Pass the pizza, sir. Hedo seems to be the barometer for blue, white, and black success. The Magic are 15-1 when Turkey Dance scores 14 points or more. Doesn't matter what his shooting percentage is. He's currently averaging just 10.9 ppg. We also need Hedo to crash the glass. The Magic are 14-2 when Rebound-oglu snatches 5 or more boards.
Orlando is 11-3 when Jason Richardson shoots 40% or better from 3-point range, and just 13-11 when that percentage is under 40%. We're 5-0 when the former dunk champ records 4 or more assists. I don't expect him to dribble around, but I do expect the Spartan to cut and penetrate for dumps and dishes. What we really need is Jason to stay healthy and to stay scrappy. Keep in mind, J-Rich's backup makes more money than him.
Speaking of J.J. Redick, the Magic are 8-4 when the Blue Devil is inserted into the starting lineup. Last postseason, Redickulous and J-Rich were both hampered badly by injuries. Jonathan Clay is currently averaging a career-best 10.9 points per game. When J.J. scores 11 points or more in a contest, Orlando is an impressive 23-4. The Magic are 2-10 when Redick does not record a 3-point make. The evidence is there, Orlando just plays better when Redick is clicking on the offensive end. When Redick blocks a shot, the team is 4-0. Stan should truly consider playing Redickulous more minutes. 18-4 when on the court 26 minutes and above, 13-14 when J.J. plays less than 26 minutes.
Jameer Nelson is averaging 10.3 ppg, his lowest output since the 2004 College Player of the Year's rookie season. You would think as the point guard that when Jameer has a bad game, so does the rest of the team. That was the case in past seasons, but not so much this campaign. When Mighty Mite shoots 43% or above, Orlando is 14-2. The problem though is in that small market size, just 16 games. Nelson needs to pick up his weak 42.3 FG%. SVG's squad isn't dependent on Jameer scoring a lot either. When Jameer scores 12 points or more, Orlando is just 10-6. 14-point performances or higher doesn't get that much more impressive for 'Mr. Clutch', a worse 6-5 record. Maybe it's about Jameer sharing the rock? Magic are 13-5 when Nelson dishes out 6 dimes or more. Again, tiny sampling. Examining the turnover ratios doesn't provide answers either. Jameer was another blue and white player hobbled by injuries last season. This year it's been about concussions it seems like. He's shown glimpses, but no one knows if Nelson will be able to kick it into another gear starting in late April.
The Magic lost the one time Glen Davis has started this season. Big Baby has had one of the most tumultuous seasons in NBA history. Lockout year, traded from a Celtics organization he adored, deaths of father and grandmother, severals games of Magic fans booing. Dealing with bench minutes and fitting into this roster hasn't been easy, but Glen is getting there. This Orlando side is 10-1 when the LSU Tiger scores in double figures. Davis is shooting a paltry 38.1% from the field this season. When he does launch a 44.4 FG% or better, Orlando is a superbly impressive 14-0. It doesn't matter if he's 1-for-1 or 8-for-11, if 'Shamu' is efficient then it equals victory.
Previewing this '11-'12 campaign, we all knew Ryan Anderson needed to have his breakout year. Mission accomplished so far. 15.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .9 apg, .9 spg, 40.8 3PT%, and 43.6 FG% are all career-highs. His 3.6 offensive rebounds per contest ranks him 7th in the league (Dwight is 6th). When the Ryan King scores 17 points or more, SVG's side is 16-4. Stan's demanding attitude toward Mr. Anderson attacking the boards is warranted. When Ryno grabs 7 rebounds or more, we're 21-7. When 'Snoggle' snags 6 boards or less, Orlando has a 10-10 record. When Ryno gets 2 steals or more, we're 8-1. Anderson is attempting and making more 3-pointers than anyone in basketball. When Ryno makes three 3-balls or more per contest, the Magic are 20-3. Living by the three keeps us fans' heart rates at a steady beat level.
Dwight Howard is of course the star and face of this franchise. We've been blessed to hold onto Superman for at least another full year. The 3-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner may be able to snag a fourth straight. His free throw woes will forever be a given problem and we're beating at a dead horse for continuing to mention them. But, we're 9-0 when D12 shoots 62.6 percent or above from the free throw line. I did find this hilarious: Orlando is 2-5 when Mr. Howard attempts a 3-pointer. So cut that crap out unless it's a buzzer beating heaving. Also, we're 14-4 when Dwight blocks 3 shots or more. Points and rebounds is a crapshoot as far as what's best for the team. Defense has always been paramount. With trade talks finally out of the way, a focused Howard can get back to putting forth maximum effort on both ends of the parquet.