Found December 20, 2012 on Sports Blog Net:
Fans of the Orlando Magic came into this season feeling pretty dubious, to say the least. There isn't much star power on this team and not a single marquee name can be found on our roster. Somehow, the Magic have managed to do the unexpected: win games. They are currently 12-13, good for 3rd in the Southeast Division. This puts them a half a game ahead of the LA Lakers, the team they lost their superstar to. So, what are they doing that is allowing them to remain so competitive? Take a look at these stats from basketball-reference.com:  PTS/G: 92.8 (26th of 30) ▪ Opp PTS/G: 94.2 (6th of 30) SRS: -1.91 (19th of 30) ▪ Pace: 92.4 (8th of 30) Off Rtg: 100.0 (29th of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 101.5 (6th of 30) Expected W-L: 11-14 (20th of 30) Two buzzwords you hear from fans describing this team are heart and hustle. Only Arron Afflalo is a proven individual defender in this league, yet the Magic are 6th overall in defensive rating. Their defensive rating in December has been 1st among all teams. The reality of their capabilities are brought back to earth by the realization that they are the penultimately (favorite word, sorry) rated offensive team. The good news is their offensive rating is a whopping 4 points ahead of their punching bag from last night, the Washington Wizards. The team defensive stats are truly remarkable when you look at how they fared in individual defensive categories: Blocks – 20th overall Steals – 29th overall Forced TOs – 27th overall So how the hell are they the 6th best defensive team in the entire league? It’s because they play smart defense and make the proper rotations. Leading to these stats: Opponent FTA – 7th overall Defensive rebounding – 6th overall Fouls – 1st overall Opponent FG% - 9th overall Opponent 3P% - 2nd overall You can read those numbers however you choose to, but it is clear that this squad is well-coached. All of these stats point towards a team that is playing within their defensive system. Jacque Vaughn deserves an enormous amount of credit for the work he has done with these players. On defense, we are hitting all of our rotations and working hard on the boards. On offense, we have 5 players scoring in double-digits, while nobody is scoring more than 16ppg. The Orlando Magic may not be as far away from relevance as was originally believed. I think we can all believe in the winning culture that Vaughn and Hennigan are trying to establish based on the evidence so far .
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